8:21am PT by Lacey Rose
50 Cent, Jamie Oliver Reality Show Gets Series Order at Sundance Channel
The Sundance Channel is teaming with Jamie Oliver and Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson to give high-school dropouts another shot.
The cable network has greenlighted a six-part hourlong series titled Dream School, which looks as what would happen if the kids who were the hardest to reach in conventional school attended a place of learning where the educators were achievers and leaders, many of whom have become household names. In the unscripted series, which is slated to premiere this fall, classes are taught by professionals from the top of their fields, and the faculty includes musicians, politicians, filmmakers, scientists, actors and artists.
“Dream School will be at times devastating, at times deeply uplifting, and entirely full of the genuine conflict and struggle that goes along with true transformation. Viewers will see that play out, not just from the teenagers in the show but also from the celebrities and educators who have signed on for this tough yet potentially life-changing project,” said Sundance Channel president Sarah Barnett in a statement announcing the news Thursday.
Added Oliver, who created the format on which the series is based and who already has had success with it in the U.K.: “The series of Dream School we did in the U.K. was one of the things I’m most proud of. We literally changed the lives of many of the kids for the better: some of them went back to school and are now excelling; some of them found out that, despite being told in school that they would never achieve anything, they were actually very gifted at art or acting and went on to achieve great things."
50 Cent is expected to appear in the show as well as executive produce under his G-Unit Films and Television banner, while Oliver, who similarly strove to change behavior with ABC's Food Revolution, will serve as an EP through his Fresh One shingle. Fresh One's Roy Ackerman, production company G-Unit and Andrew Jameson will be executive producers on the entry as well.
Dream School joins an expanding Sundance programming portfolio that currently includes nonscripted series, Push Girls and upcoming The Writers Room, as well as scripted efforts Top of the Lake and Rectify.