Burnett back for MTV pic picks

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Mark Burnett is returning as executive producer of the MTV Movie Awards, which will air live for a second consecutive year from the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City.

The 17th edition of the awards show, which honors nominees in such categories as best kiss, best villain and best comedic performance, is set for June 1.

Burnett said there was one main reason he wanted to take on the executive producer role for a second time: "I'd like my children to continue speaking to me," he joked. "This is a massive opportunity to be allowed to work on an incredible show."

For the 2008 ceremony, Burnett said he will continue looking for ways to keep it "fresh and spontaneous" and to again keep the length at no more than two hours. He said he also hopes to ramp up viewer interactivity and is bringing back an award introduced last year that honors content created by fans.

The 2007 ceremony also saw the introduction of another new category with the best summer movie you haven't seen yet, and Burnett said he's adding "another summer category" to this year's awards but declined to be more specific.

"Not only are these awards very relevant but timely," he said. "Some of the movies they honor only came out in the last month (before the show), and others haven't even come out yet."

Asked whether a host has been tapped, Burnett would only say: "I can't announce the host yet, but it is huge. This is shaping up to be the most star-studded event."

Said Van Toffler, president of MTV Networks Music, Logo and Films Group: "The audience's favorite movie and music talent combined with Mark Burnett's uncanny ability to push the envelope and the show being live makes for a concoction sure to set off tons of unexpected water-cooler moments."

Last year's telecast, hosted by Sarah Silverman, averaged 3.6 million total viewers, up 13% from 2006. Nominees for the 2008 show will be announced in the spring.

Burnett — behind such series as "Survivor," "The Apprentice" and "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" — actually got his start at MTV with his first series, "Eco-Challenge." His company, Mark Burnett Prods., has earned 48 Emmy nominations since 2001.
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