VH1 Greenlights Three New Series and Orders Additional Seasons of Two Favorites
Sandra "Pepa" Denton and Chilli Top The List of New VH1 Series With The Yet-To-Be Titled "Pepa" and "Chilli" Projects
VH1 Favorite "The Entertainer" Gets His Own Series While The VH1 Hits "Celebrity Fit Club" and "Sober House with Dr. Drew" Get Additional Seasons
LOS ANGELES, June 29 -- VH1 has teamed up with Sandra "Pepa" Denton of Salt n Pepa and Chilli from TLC - giving each pioneering hip-hop artist her own series revolving around their current lives as single women. The yet-to-be titled "Pepa" and "Chilli" series will premiere on VH1 in 2010.
The Entertainer, from the "I Love NY" and "I Love Money" shows has also scored his own series called "The Entertainer," featuring his parents as well as the infamous basement bachelor pad. VH1 has also renewed two other hit series: "Celebrity Fit Club" (season 7) and "Sober House with Dr. Drew" (season 2).
These programming additions come on the heels of recent announcements about upcoming new original primetime series on VH1 including Jessica Simpson's new series "The Price Of Beauty;" a series centered on the family and career of American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino as she refocuses and tries to get her career back on track with the untitled "Fantasia" series; "The OCD Project," centering on OCD patients living together as they strive to overcome their disorder; and "The Aspen Project," focusing on the highs and lows of living and dating in one of the wealthiest communities in the world.
VH1 is also on a roll with its debut of new and returning series year-to-date. The music and pop culture network's total primetime viewership was up 12% during the second quarter of 2009 compared to the same period the year before. And, the network has launched nine new and returning series averaging at least 1 million total viewers in their premiere episodes. In fact, VH1 has launched five new series year-to-date averaging at least 1 million total viewers - more than any other cable network this year.
"No matter if you're a Grammy Award winning artist, a film actor or a TV reality star with millions of loyal fans, we all share the same desires of the human experience...to succeed, to love, and to live our lives to their fullest potential," said Jeff Olde, Executive Vice President, Original Programming & Production, VH1. "VH1 has generated a lot of buzz over the years by evolving from an outlet that commented on pop culture to a brand that creates it. With these projects, we're continuing to evolve, building on our core storytelling expertise to delve deeper into personalities and issues that connect with millions of our viewers.
The untitled "Pepa" series is a real-life comedy following Sandra "Pepa" Denton of Salt-n-Pepa fame as she emerges from her self-imposed romantic and sexual dormancy of the past four years as she begins to search for love again. After years of living a celibate life in order to focus on finding "the one," Pep has realized that giving up sex actually got her nowhere in the relationship world. She didn't "evolve," she didn't land a husband and the only close relationship she formed was with her exercise bike. But she's not the only one. Her three closest girlfriends are all single and searching too. The four friends will laugh, cry and dish the dirt as they support each other along the way. The "Pepa" series has been picked up for eight half-hour episodes and is set to premiere in 2010.
The "Pepa" series is executive produced by Banks Tarver and Ken Druckerman for Left/Right, Inc. Executive Producers for VH1 are Shelly Tatro, Danielle Gelfand, Kari McFarland and Jeff Olde.
'Chilli' from R&B supergroup TLC, has decided to take the reins of her lackluster romantic situation and launch an all out search for the love of her life in the yet-to-be titled "Chilli Project." Despite huge success as a recording artist and a mother, Chilli has grown tired of striking out on the romantic front, so she has enlisted the help of Brooklyn relationship expert Tionna Smalls. Not one to let people take the easy way out, Tionna has promised to give Chilli the challenging emotional workout she needs in order to get over the hurdles that have kept her from having the long-term serious relationship she craves. The series has been picked up for eight half-hour episodes and is set to premiere in 2010.
"The Chilli Project" is executive produced by FremantleMedia North America. Larry Barron, Kevin Williams, Bill Diggins and Chilli are executive producers. Executive producers for VH1 are Jim Ackerman, Dave Hamilton and Jeff Olde.
"The Entertainer" will star Frank "The Entertainer" Moresco and the ever watchful eyes of his parents. Frank is best known as the guy who still lives in his parents' basement from the VH1 shows "I Love New York" and "I Love Money." Meanwhile, his parents have grown ever weary of their 32-year-old slacker son's current living arrangements - their basement. In a last ditch effort to help Frank get out from under his parents thumb VH1 is giving him the opportunity to find love from a bevy of naive hopefuls and the incentive he needs to move out of the basement and on his own. "The Entertainer" has been picked up for ten one-hour episodes and is set to premiere sometime in 2010.
"The Entertainer" is executive produced by Cris Abrego, Mark Cronin and Ben Samek for 51 Minds. Executive producing for VH1 are Jill Holmes, Kristen Kelly and Jeff Olde.
The battle of the bulge will continue as VH1 is bringing back one of their most popular series, "Celebrity Fit Club" for a seventh season. As in the previous edition, this season will also use a grueling boot-camp style regimen prescribed by CFC taskmaster and former USMC Drill Instructor Harvey Walden. His mission is to take eight out-of-shape celebs and help transform them back to the camera-friendly bodies they used to have. Harvey accepts no excuses as the challenges will be brutal, but the results will be amazing. Also returning to the show will be nutrition and diet expert Dr. Ian Smith. The series has been picked up for 8 one-hour episodes and a 90 minute finale. The show has yet to be cast and will premiere sometime in 2010.
"Celebrity Fit Club" is produced by ITV Studios, Inc. Executive producers are Jonas Larsen for ITV Studios and Jim Ackerman, Christian McLaughlin and Jeff Olde for VH1.
"Celebrity Rehab Presents Sober House" is also returning for its sophomore season. The series chronicles the dramatic experiences of a group of celebrities with addiction issues as they make the transition back into the real world full of the people and temptations that once led them into a life of addiction. Throughout the course of their stay in the Sober House, participants will have the opportunity to meet with Dr. Drew in both one-on-one and group sessions in an effort to understand and advance their experience to its fullest potential in this crucial and difficult transitional period. Also, returning to the series will be house manager, Jennifer Gimenez, counselor Bob Forrest and resident technician Will Smith. The series has been picked up for eight one-hour episodes and will premiere after the third season of "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew" ends its run in 2010.
"Celebrity Rehab Presents Sober House" is executive produced by John Irwin, Bruce Toms and Damian Sullivan for Irwin Entertainment. Dr. Drew Pinsky and Howard Lapides are also executive producing. Jill Holmes, Noah Pollack and Jeff Olde, are executive producers for VH1.
VH1 connects viewers to the music, artists and pop culture that matter to them most with TV series, specials, live events, exclusive online content and public affairs initiatives. VH1 is available in 95 million households in the U.S. VH1 also has an array of digital channels and services including VH1Classic, VH1 Soul, VH1 Mobile, VH1Games and extensive broadband video on VH1.com. Connect with VH1 at VH1.com.