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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

TV Hot Spot: News

Singing, dancing, Lachey!

Post by: Sal

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

MTV is giving young people the chance to follow their dreams through several new music- and dance-themed projects, including an unscripted musical drama from Nick Lachey that's described as a reality version of "Fame."

The network also has greenlighted to series two singing competitions -- "Rock the Cradle," from FremantleMedia North America (Fox's "American Idol"), and the working-titled "Celebrity Music Mentor Project" -- and has renewed the dance competition "Randy Jackson: America's Best Dance Crew" for a second season.

Brian Graden, president of entertainment at MTV Networks Music Channels, said the shows play into the ambitions of MTV's target demo.

"This is a positive generation that feels very empowered, like they can do anything, and these play into that notion," he said. "It's really so cool to watch how the definition of music television has morphed over the years. We're updating that for a generation who consumes music in different ways than even five years ago."

The untitled pilot from Lachey revolves around the students at his alma mater, the School for Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati. Tony DiSanto, executive vp series development and programming, said the project boasts a unique format that breaks new ground in the reality arena, similarly to how MTV's "Laguna Beach" launched a new form of unscripted storytelling.

It organically will blend performances by the students with the narrative about what takes place in the school. For example, it might feature students breaking out into dance in the cafeteria or use a student's practice session on his or her instrument as the soundtrack for a scene. DiSanto added that the project also features a "unique visual language that sets it apart" from other shows.

"The stories and relationships are all set to music that's organic in what's going on in the school and also performed by the kids," DiSanto said. "This is a genre-busting, creative experiment that I'm really excited about."

Lachey, a former MTV reality star with "Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica," brought the project to the network and is executive producing with Marc Platt and Russell Heldt.

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