[01/09/04 - 12:00 AM]
TCA Winter Press Tour: MTV, Part 1
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- The Television Critics Association began its winter press tour this week in which the various broadcast and cable networks talk about their upcoming plans to the nation's top critics and entertainment reporters.

Here's a breakdown of the highlights of MTV's presentation (via press release):



MTV Follows the Planning of Carmen Electra and Dave Navarro's Anything-but-Traditional Wedding

Second Season of "Newlyweds" Captures Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson as They Celebrate Their Anniversary and Continue Life as Newlyweds

MTV: Music Television announced today that the second season of "Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica" and the premiere of "'Til Death Do Us Part: Carmen & Dave" will air on Wednesday, January 21st at 10:00PM (ET/PT) and 10:30 PM (ET/PT), respectively.

"'Newlyweds, which kicked off with Nick and Jessica's traditional, fairy tale wedding, struck a chord with our viewers. When we heard that Carmen and Dave were getting married and planning a provocative nontraditional wedding, we thought the two shows would make a perfect match," said Lois Curren, Executive Vice President, MTV Series Entertainment.

"'Til Death Do Us Part: Carmen & Dave" documents the lives of Carmen Electra and Dave Navarro during the months leading up to their wedding and culminating with the wedding ceremony. MTV's cameras captured Carmen and Dave as they juggled their professional lives, while planning the most important day of their life. Viewers will witness the couple preparing for their anything-but-traditional and extraordinarily sexy wedding. Key events include: Carmen choosing the guest list of rock royalty, picking out the flowers (you can forget about an all white wedding), deciding on the guest performance, the writing of the vows, and last but not least, the bachelor and bachelorette parties (fasten your seat belts!). Seven episodes are planned.

The second season of "Newlyweds" picks up at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City where Nick and Jessica celebrate their first anniversary, only to find their quiet getaway interrupted by an Oktoberfest celebration. To salvage their anniversary, they head to New York for a romantic carriage ride through Central Park and dinner at Tavern on the Green where Nick has a top tier replica of their wedding cake flown in to Jessica's delight. The couple also celebrates Nick's 30th birthday complete with Jessica jumping out of a cake wearing nothing but a diamond encrusted watch and lingerie. Additional highlights include Nick's second attempt at redecorating and Jessica splurging on a few luxury items.

The love stories will kick-off on MTV.com prior to both premieres. For "'Til Death Do Us Part: Carmen & Dave," MTV.com will feature video clips of the couple talking about one another and their first kiss, preparing for their wedding and taking their wedding vows. Pictures from the combined bachelor and bachelorette parties that took place in Las Vegas at the Hark Rock Hotel and weekly episode highlights will also be showcased. For "Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica," MTV.com will feature the Tuna or Chicken game where users must identify the mystery objects as chicken or tuna; video clips of Jessica's moments of the week; a Q&A of Jessica's thoughts on Nick and vice versa, and family and wedding photo albums.

Executive Producers of "'Til Death Do Us Part: Carmen & Dave" are Lois Curren and Fernando J. Hernandez. Rod Aissa and Heather Parry served as producers. "Newlyweds" is executive produced by R. Greg Johnston and produced by Larry Rudolph and Joe Simpson. Lois Curren and Rod Aissa also serve as Executive Producers.

MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom International Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), owns and operates the following television programming services -- MTV: Music Television, MTV2, VH1, Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite, TV LAND, Spike, Comedy Central, CMT and The Digital Suite From MTV Networks, a package of nine US digital services, all of which are trademarks of MTV Networks. MTV Networks also has licensing agreements, joint ventures, and syndication deals whereby all of its programming services can be seen worldwide.


"Diary of Gideon in Iraq," premiering January 14 at 10:30 p.m. is part of MTV's soon-to-be-announced "Choose or Lose" initiative

MTV: Music Television is set to premiere "Diary of Gideon in Iraq" on January 14 at 10:30 p.m. as part of the network's soon-to-be-announced "Choose or Lose 2004" campaign to effect massive voter turnout among young adults. "Diary" chronicles MTV News correspondent Gideon Yago's recent trip to Baghdad to talk to young Iraqis and U.S. soldiers stationed there. The special is a follow-up to his critically acclaimed "Diary of Gideon in Kuwait," which followed Yago to Kuwait City as he met young Kuwaitis and American soldiers stationed there.

"Our goal with 'Choose or Lose' has always been to inform our audience by breaking down the issues they care about, in a manner they can relate to," commented Dave Sirulnick, Executive Vice President of News & Production at MTV. "We will continue to cover these issues in a way that no other news organization does, with this and other programming that will be a part of 'Choose or Lose' this year."

For "Diary of Gideon in Iraq," Yago traveled to Baghdad in mid-November and stayed for 14 days. While there, he met with young Iraqis and got their impressions of post-war Iraq, what the future holds for their country, and how they feel about the American presence there, including the reconstruction efforts. Yago also spoke to American soldiers still stationed in Iraq to find out how the war has affected their lives, and to give the MTV audience an intimate look into what the troops are experiencing daily - and how much longer they could be expected to remain in Iraq. In addition, Yago was able to voice the concerns of the young Iraqis and American soldiers to Ambassador Paul Bremer and Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez in exclusive interviews with each. Yago's first trip to the mideast was chronicled in "Diary of Gideon in Kuwait," which aired on March 10, 2003, as part of the channel's extensive war coverage.

"'Choose or Lose' is about empowering our audience, and this special gives them a unique insider's view of how young people are living in today's Iraq" added Yago. "Young people are the ones on the front lines, so bringing their questions and concerns to the people leading the war efforts was a powerful way to inform our audience about a very pressing campaign issue."

Yago has spent four years as a writer and correspondent for MTV News. Yago first cut his journalistic teeth as a cub reporter during the 2000 election, attached to the McCain and Bush-Cheney campaigns. Since that time Yago has been the first MTV News correspondent to travel to Afghanistan, Kuwait and Iraq, was part of MTV News award-winning coverage for young people in the wake of 9/11, and has hosted specials on drug addiction, bias crime, sex laws, gun violence and other political hot topics. Notable interviews for MTV News include Secretary of State Colin Powell, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Ralph Nader, Ambassador L Paul Bremer III and President George W. Bush. He was a major on-air presence during the war in Iraq and will also be a key correspondent for "Choose or Lose 2004."

MTV is the preeminent channel to engage young adults, reaching more than 86 million households nationwide. And in 2003, MTV achieved its highest rated year ever among viewers aged 18-34. MTV delivers more viewers in this age group than CNN, MSNBC, Headline News, CNBC and Fox News Channel combined, making MTV the best connection to young adult voters.


"I'm in a Summer Share" Kicks It Off on January 8

Other Topics Include "I'm in the System," "I'm an Identical Twin," "I'm a Big Wave Surfer," ""I'll Do Anything for Money," I'm on Adderall," "I'm in an Interracial Relationship," "I Live A Double Life," and I Live In Iraq"

MTV: Music Television today announced that its critically acclaimed series "True Life" will return on January 8 with "I'm in a Summer Share," followed by 6 other new episodes ranging in topics from "I'm in the System" to "I'm on Adderall."

"The honesty and breadth of issues covered by this series continue to make 'True Life' an audience favorite," commented Dave Sirulnick, Executive Vice President of News & Production at MTV. "This new cycle illustrates our ongoing commitment to producing shows that our audience relates to, to inform as well as entertain them."

This cycle includes:

I'M IN A SUMMER SHARE: This episode follows a group of twenty-somethings at their rented summer home on the Jersey shore, as they let loose and face the dramas of sharing a home. January 8 at 10 p.m.

I'M IN THE SYSTEM: This episode reveals the hard truth of three young people's prison experiences: one who has just arrived in prison for the first time, one who is getting out of prison after three years and struggling to readjust to life on the outside, and a young woman who is left to cope with her pregnancy and children while her boyfriend is in jail for 16 months. January 15 at 10 p.m.

I'M AN IDENTICAL TWIN: This episode follows three sets of twins who face similar but uniquely challenging circumstances with their one-time womb-mates: Brothers who try to carve out identities of their own as they head to different colleges, Iranian-American twins who have decided, to their parents' horror, to try to make a living off their "twinship" in the mysterious world of magic, and teenage twin girls who must compete with another set of twins to win the hearts of yet another set of male twins at a twins festival (a whole lotta twinnin' going on!). January 22 at 10 p.m.

I'M A BIG WAVE SURFER: This episode follows 4 surfers as they conquer the waves, compete for the big prizes and titles, and live the real surfer lifestyle. January 29 at 10 p.m.

I'LL DO ANYTHING FOR MONEY: This episode follows three stories of young people who are going to extremes to pay the bills. A set of twins decides to sell their eggs to help support one of the twins' son. A young man known as "The Lizardman" has modified his entire body to look like a reptile (split-tongue and all) and performs jaw-dropping stunts to make money for his upcoming wedding. And perhaps the most resourceful college kid in the country earns money as a sperm donor, a lab rat, and an ultimate fighter. February 12 at 10 p.m.

I'M ON ADDERALL: According to the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, people between the ages of 18-25 are more likely than any other age group to be abusing prescription medications. This episode takes a look at the newest chapter in young people's addiction: Adderall. One young man, tired of the drug's side effects, embarks on a desperate attempt to see if he can live without the Adderall he was prescribed for his ADHD. Another young woman, who started abusing the drug to stay thin, battles through rehab. A college student has successfully used Adderall to maintain a high GPA, but pressure is mounting as the holidays and finals arrive - how will she fare? And a young man struggles to come to terms with his own usage - questioning whether his motivation and relative success in school can be attributed to himself or the pills. February 19 at 10 p.m.

I'M IN AN INTERRACIAL RELATIONSHIP: This episode introduces us to three young couples in interracial relationships: an African-American and white couple living in the south following the reaction to a surprise marriage proposal; a gay interracial couple trying to get past people's perceptions in their hunt for a place to live together; and a Hispanic and white couple who kept their relationship a secret until an unplanned pregnancy forced them out into the open and who now reflect on what life has been like since they decided to keep the child and get married. February 26 at 10 p.m.

I LIVE A DOUBLE LIFE: This episode follows young people who live two distinctly different lives - that never intersect with each other. Characters include a young man who is straight by day and gay by night, and an Anna Nicole Smith impersonator who is no longer sure where her impersonator job ends and her real life begins. Premiere date tbd.

I LIVE IN IRAQ: This episode takes a hard-hitting and hopeful look at young Americans and Iraqis embroiled in war. Shot during November 2003, the bloodiest month of the war, it captures up close the despair, fear, and hope of young people in Iraq, including their mixed emotions about the American takeover and confusion over their newfound freedom. Young American soldiers talk to MTV with an intimacy and honesty rarely seen on other networks about fighting in a controversial war where death can come at any moment. Premiere date tbd.


"The Osbournes" Returns to MTV on January 27th at 10:30pm for Five Episode Run

MTV: Music Television today announced that "The Osbournes" returns to the channel with five all new episodes starting on Tuesday, January 27th at 10:30pm ET/PT. The groundbreaking, Emmy-award winning show will once again document the real-life drama of everyone's favorite rock-n-roll family, the Osbournes. Ozzy, Sharon, Jack, and Kelly are back on MTV with all new adventures including Jack's 18th birthday, a trip to the tattoo parlor for some family members, a whole slew of new dogs and cats, massive new construction on the Beverly Hills house, and much, much more.

The January 27th premiere kicks off with a weekend premiere marathon of past "Osbournes" episodes from January 23-25.

For the new episodes of "The Osbournes," Lois Curren is Executive Vice President, Series and Movie Development, and Executive Producer for MTV, R. Greg Johnston is the Executive Producer for MTV, and Rod Aissa is Executive Producer and Vice President, Talent Development, MTV.


MTV News & Docs, the team that created the critically acclaimed documentary series True Life, debuts MTV I Want a Famous Face, a new six-part series premiering on MTV on February 23rd at 10:30PM (ET/PT), which documents a strange and growing phenomenon that combines celebrity obsessions and plastic surgery. MTV I Want a Famous Face follows the transformation of seven young people who have chosen to undergo plastic surgery to look like their celebrity ideal. Whether it's a Pamela Anderson wanna-be or a Britney Spears impersonator, the goal is the same - to use plastic surgery not just to look different - but to look like a star. In addition, MTV I Want a Famous Face will profile four young people who tried to emulate their celebrity physical ideals, and in some cases encountered devastating results.

"In today's world, where celebrity obsession is at a fevered frenzy, more and more young people are taking their infatuation with celebrity to a whole new level," said Marshall Eisen, Supervising Producer, MTV News & Docs. "This new documentary series will follow several of the many, many young people who are getting plastic surgery to look more like their favorite celebrities and will get inside the minds and lives of these people to find out their motivations and the end results - both physical and psychological."

Since 1997, the number of young people having cosmetic plastic surgery has almost tripled. In fact, in 2002 alone almost 2 million people under the age of 34 went to a surgeon for a cosmetic procedure. (American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery in New York City)

During the course of the series, viewers will meet:

Sha - a 19-year-old from Texas longs to look more like Pamela Anderson and hopes to fill Pam's shoes as a Playmate and actress. She decides to get breast implants, lip implants and liposuction under her chin. With her new breasts, lips and chin Sha takes on her first test shoot for Playboy. Will she make the grade or will Playboy be disappointed with her new look?

Jessica - a 23-year-old "party girl" from Chicago who wants to look like Jennifer Lopez and hopes to become a runway model. Growing up, Jessica had always felt like she was a man trapped in a female's body. After undergoing hormone therapy and starting the change to becoming a female, she has now legally changed her name and is ready to have cosmetic surgery to look even more like a woman. Jessica is having breast implants, cheek implants, her eyebrow bone shaved, an eyebrow lift and her hairline lowered. Will she finally embody the J-Lo look she's longed for and will she become a model with her new feminized appearance?

Mike and Matt - these 20-year-old twin brothers from Arizona want to look like Brad Pitt and become famous actors one day. They believe the only thing holding them back from big careers in Hollywood are their "unattractive" faces and that if they look more like Brad, they will finally make it big. Mike and Matt are both getting rhinoplasty, chin implants, and porcelain veneers and Mike is also having cheek implants. Will their facial overhauls be enough to make them superstars with the women they lust after?

Mia - a 27-year-old Britney Spears impersonator from Orlando, Florida, already believes she naturally looks like Britney, but just needs new breasts to complete her look. Mia had already consulted with three different surgeons before the MTV cameras began shooting. Mia hopes that with her breast implants she will be able to quit her day job and score big bucks as a celebrity impersonator.

Jesse - an Elvis impersonator from Las Vegas has been in the impersonator game for eight years but feels like the competition is becoming increasingly tough to beat. Jesse feels he can stay on top by looking even more like Elvis, so he decides to get a chin implant, lip injections, and a chemical face peel to do the trick. Will his new look make him a bigger star and land him on the cover of Playgirl magazine?

Jennette - is a 21-year-old college student and plus-size model from Tallahassee, Florida who wants the body of Kate Winslet. A year after undergoing gastric by-pass surgery, Jennette wants to have a body lift. Although she feels that she naturally looks like Kate Winslet, having a similarly voluptuous body could provide her with more modeling gigs than she can score now.

MTV I Want a Famous Face is executive produced by Dave Sirulnick. Supervising producer/creator is Marshall Eisen and series producer/creator is Kimberly Belcher Cowin.

  [january 2004]  


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