CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- The Television Critics Association continued 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):
DEVELOPMENT SLATE INCLUDING DEALS WITH CAMERON DIAZ AND HILARY DUFF, AMONG OTHERS
Music Channel Provides Fans With An Even Deeper Connection to Artists Through Unprecedented Behind-the Scenes Access
MTV announced today that the network is starting the year off with a vigorous development slate including deals with Cameron Diaz ("Shrek 2," "Charlie's Angels", "Something About Mary," "Gangs of New York") for a global adventure series and award-winning actress and Platinum recording artist Hilary Duff for her own reality show. These are just two of the seven new projects in development announced today, including deals with Foxy Brown, Frankie Muniz, Orlando Jones, and Andy Dick. This comes on the heels of MTV closing out 2003 #1 in basic cable among the 12-34 year old demographic and finishing Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4 with the highest individual quarter ratings in channel history, resulting is MTV's highest rated year ever among P12-34.
"We had a remarkable year working with incredible talent and developing projects that worked for their personalities from Newlyweds to Punk'd," said Brian Graden, President of Entertainment, MTV and VH1. "With this new slate, we're thrilled to be in business with even more of the biggest names in entertainment and to be developing new concepts and programming with them."
"MTV provides a platform for celebrities to speak directly to our audience," added Van Toffler, President of MTV & MTV2. "We've created an environment where artists can experiment with us to break new ground in entertainment and we look forward to doing just that with Cameron, Hilary and all the great talent we're developing projects with."
The following shows have been greenlit for development:
CAMERON DIAZ PROJECT: Cameron and a close-knit group of eclectic friends, will immerse themselves in exotic and endangered locations. Doing a variety of activities including sand surfing in the Chilean desert, Cameron and friends will uncover adventure without the aid of four star hotels, personal assistants or indoor plumbing. The show will also highlight environmental issues in each region. Executives in Charge of Development: Lois Curren and Rod Aissa Executive Producers: Cameron Diaz, Rick Qualliotine and Elizabeth Rogers Executive Producers for MTV: Billy Rainey, Rod Aissa, Lois Curren
UNTITLED HILARY DUFF SHOW: Cable exclusive reality development deal with Hilary Duff ("Cheaper By The Dozen," and "The Lizzie McGuire Movie "). Executives in Charge of Development: Tony DiSanto, Liz Gateley and Rod Aissa
FOXY'S FAMILY: Notorious, controversial, explicit... Foxy Brown rules her business with an iron fist and a platinum smile. Each week we'll watch a modern day "That Girl" balance a double life split between her gilded life in the suburbs of New Jersey and the rough streets of Brooklyn, New York, where Foxy grew up with her family, who helps run her record label. Managing your own career, running a record label and scouting out new artists is a full time job. Throw your family in the mix and all hell is sure to break loose. Foxy's Family is Good Times meets Making the Band, with The Osbournes' dynamic. Executives in Charge of Development: Tony DiSanto and Liz Gateley
ASHLEE: Already a phenomenon at only 19 years old, Ashlee Simpson is ready to take it to the next level. We'll follow Ashlee every step of the way, as she signs her first record deal, writes her songs, auditions her band and records her very first album. Aside from the process of making her album, Ashlee lets us in on her life, and her various relationships with friends, family and of course, boys. We see the break-up with her boyfriend and then watch, as it becomes a song on her album. From band practice to label meetings, to album cover shoots and everything in between, Ashlee gives us full access to the entire process, taking us through to the album release and the band's first time ever on stage together. Co-Executive Producer: Joe Simpson Executives in Charge of Production: Lois Curren, Rod Aissa and Greg Johnston
FRANKIE MUNIZ PROJECT: A fantasy fulfillment reality show where Frankie Muniz ("Malcolm in the Middle," "Agent Cody Banks," "My Dog Skip" and "Big Fat Liar") goes back to high school and whisks away unsuspecting students live out their ultimate fantasies, along with Frankie. Co-Creators and Co-Executive Producers: Frankie Muniz and David Franzke (Punk'd) for Plan B Productions and Jeff Golenberg and Mark Schulman for 3 Arts Entertainment Executives in Charge of Development: Lois Curren and Beth Greenwald
CHICO & GUAPO: An animated series set in a New York hip-hop recording studio, Chico & Guapo follows the comic misadventures of two Latino janitors as they strive to get ahead in the music business -- in Chico's case through conscientious hard work, in Guapo's case through scheming and lies. Standing between the boys and the promised land are a rage-aholic boss (Mr. Angelo), a has-been record producer (Hank), a flatulent, brown-nosing receptionist (Concepcion) and several other ludicrously real New Yorkers. Several of the characters are voiced by actor Orlando Jones ("Evolution," "Drumline"). Show was co-created and will be executive produced by Orlando Jones, Paul D'Arci and PJ Pesce. Dallas Austin will also serve as producer. Executives in Charge of Development: Marian Davis and John Priemer
The following has been greenlit for pilot:
THE ASSISTANT: An inside look at the over-the-top life of Andy Dick as he is supplied with a variety of potential assistants to choose from. If they can survive Andy's antics, they will win a job in Hollywood. PRODUCERS: Adam Cohen and Cara Tapper (Plum Productions)/Andy Dick. Executives in Charge of Production: Jessica Samet and Drew Tappon
MTV Relaunches College Network With New Name: mtvU
mtvU Relaunches On January 20th as a New Type of Media Company -- On-Air, Online & On Campus
Network Serves as Incubator for Up and Coming Artists With 'The Cut,' with Features on Breaking Artists and Free Exclusive Downloads
Channel Announces Exclusive Opportunities for Students including 'Stand In' -- Bringing Musical Innovator Marilyn Manson and Other Icons Into Classrooms -- mtvU Grants and 'You Want It, You Got It Contest'
Plus, With Over 20 Major New Schools - including MIT, Indiana University at Bloomington, University of Missouri & University of Georgia - mtvU Reaches Over 720 Colleges
MTV: Music Television announced today that the network's college network will officially relaunch with a new name -- mtvU -- on January 20th. The channel, formally CTN: College Television Network, was acquired by MTV in October 2002. mtvU will be a whole new type of media company traversing beyond just being a television entity. mtvU is dedicated to every aspect of college life, reaching students everywhere they hang out, through a three pronged approach -- on-air, online and on campus. mtvU will focus on content including music programming, news, student life features, events, pro-social initiatives and more.
"mtvU will be all about U, the university -- but more importantly, U, the student," said Stephen Friedman, General Manager of mtvU. "Just as college students are experimenting with their lives, we want to be a laboratory for what's new, whether it be new music or recognizing the talents of the students themselves."
"mtvU won't just be TV -- we're going to be a resource for students' lives, everywhere they are, when they're in their dorm rooms, surfing the net, or walking across campus," said Van Toffler, President of MTV, MTV2 & mtvU. "Students don't just want entertainment, so we'll also provide them the practical resources they're demanding on everything from jobs to travel to dating."
Music will be at the heart of mtvU. In addition to playing university students' favorite artists, mtvU is also committed to playing the videos of up and coming artists who are resonating on the college level, but might not have garnered national exposure yet. Thus, mtvU announced today the channel's first music initiative, "The Cut," to highlight breaking artists.
* "The Cut" will be a stamp placed on select artists' videos, designating the video as recommended. In addition, students will also be able to access free exclusive downloads of "The Cut" artists' music on mtvU.com.
* The first set artists to be chosen by mtvU as part of "The Cut" include: Howie Day, Butterfly Boucher, Atmosphere, Death Cab for Cutie, Dizzie Rascal, and Joss Stone.
mtvU is also going to be focused on providing opportunities, access and resources to students beyond what they are getting in their classrooms. mtvU will work closely with students and administrators to present numerous opportunities exclusively to students at mtvU campuses, including:
* "You Want It, You Got It," Contest will underscore the channel's commitment to empowering students by allowing the winners to pick the prize they want -- anything from a year of tuition to a car with free gas to a tricked out dorm room.
* The "Stand In" Contest will surprise students by bringing icons into their classrooms to be teacher for a day --- including one of music's most controversial and innovative artists, Marilyn Manson, who willteach about music and marketing. Other "Stand Ins" set for this semester include Pulitzer Prize winning author Frank McCourt teaching literature and civil rights leader Jesse Jackson informing about racism and the law.
* "mtvU Grants" will partner with YouthVenture to give a $1,500 mtvU Grant to a young social activist every single week of the school year. The grants will not only recognize the activists' achievements, but will jumpstart a community initiative
Since MTV's acquisition of the college network in October 2002, 20 schools have been added to the family. mtvU is proud to welcome its newest affiliate partners Indiana University at Bloomington, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of Missouri at Columbia, and University of Georgia at Athens.
Additionally, mtvU announced its inaugural class of VJs: ChiChi Nnadi, Gardner Loulan, George Oliphant, Maria Sansone, Mayleen Ramey, and Mimi Kalinda. Each week, the VJs will crisscross the country to visit campuses and connect directly with mtvU students, as well as interview celebrities and artists straight from mtvU's brand new studio in New York City. Additionally, mtvU will be providing network campuses with numerous music tours and events throughout the upcoming year.
mtvU will also continue to work with CBS News (featuring mtvU CBS News Anchor Brianna Keilar) and MTV News to deliver hourly updates covering a variety of issues including world events, college news, sports, music, entertainment and more.
The majority of mtvU's programming will continue to be short-form to accommodate the fast-paced, hectic nature of college life. mtvU will also continue to air weekly series, "The Freshman" featuring the latest new music on the network, along with the "Dean's List," a weekly video countdown show airing the most popular videos of the week as determined by fans on mtvU.com.
Broadcasting to over 720 colleges across the country, with a combined enrollment of 5.5 million, mtvU is the largest, most comprehensive television network just for college students. 24hrs a day, 7days a week, mtvU can be seen in the dining areas, fitness centers, student lounges and dorm rooms of campuses throughout the U.S. For more information about mtvU visit http://www.mtvu.com.
mtvU is part of MTV Networks, a division of Viacom International Inc., which also includes MTV, MTV2, VH1, Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite, TV Land, Spike TV, CMT and others.