Celebrities drive VH1's new reality
Cho, Campbell, Pollard, Hogan get seriesVH1 is making room on its schedule for seven new unscripted productions, including series starring Margaret Cho, Luther "Luke" Campbell of rap group 2 Live Crew and network staples Tiffany "New York" Pollard and Brooke Hogan.
Also getting the green light are new editions of the "Rock Docs" franchise centered on James Brown and Elton John and a new "Storytellers" starring Snoop Dogg.
In its announcement Thursday, VH1 touted the fact that, for the first time, it has entered the list of top 10 basic cable networks among the adults 18-49 demographic in primetime so far this quarter, which saw VH1 expand from two to three nights of original programming a week. Jeff Olde, the network's new executive vp programming and development, attributed the growth to such shows as "Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew" and "Rock of Love 2."
"VH1 has never had so many hit shows on our air at one time," Olde said. "This new slate of provocative 'Celebreality' shows, insightful music documentaries and exclusive music performances will keep our success streak going while fueling our expanding original programming efforts."
The four new "Celebreality" series (all are half-hours premiering this year):
-- "The Cho Show" (seven episodes) chronicles comedian Cho's "anything goes" lifestyle as well as her interactions with her friends and parents. It's executive produced by Rico Martinez and Cho for Crossroads Television.
-- "Luke's Parental Advisory" (eight episodes) follows Campbell as he juggles being a dad to two teenagers with running his adult-entertainment business Luke Entertainment Group and planning a wedding with his fiancee. The series, a production of VH1 in conjunction with Pink Sneakers Prods., is executive produced by Kimberly Belcher Cowin.
-- "New York Goes to Hollywood" (10 episodes) features Pollard, star of VH1's looking-for-love competition series "I Love New York," as she moves to Los Angeles to pursue her dream of becoming an actress (putting her relationship with her most recent pick, Tailor Made, on the "backburner"). The series is created and executive produced by Mark Cronin and Cris Abrego for Mindless Entertainment and 51 Pictures.
-- "Brooke Hogan Knows Best" (10 episodes) evolved out of VH1's "Hogan Knows Best," starring Hulk Hogan and his family, including daughter Brooke. The new series will follow her as she moves to Miami to start a new life on her own. Her family, including her parents, are expected to make appearances from time to time. Belcher Cowin also is exec producing "Brooke," from VH1 and Pink Sneakers.
VH1 also has two new hourlong "Rock Docs" coming up. "The Night James Brown Saved Boston" (April 5), directed by David Leaf, centers on a Brown concert at Boston Garden that took place the night after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and is credited with helping to prevent rioting in Boston.
"Elton John: Me, Myself and I" (June 7), produced by Monkey Kingdom Prods. in the U.K., finds the singer taking viewers through his career, including him interacting with his younger self through the use of special effects technology.
Airing March 31 is the hourlong installment of "Storytellers" featuring Snoop Dogg.