MTV answers Justin Timberlake's 'Phone'

Greenlights show from singer and FremantleMedia

MTV has greenlighted a reality game show from Justin Timberlake and "American Idol" producers FremantleMedia North America.

"The Phone," based on a Dutch format by Park Lane Prods., pits two contestants in a race against time to accomplish a mission together and win a cash prize. Each episode begins with two strategically hidden cell phones ringing at opposite ends of a major city. Once answered, a mysterious guide gives contestants five seconds to decide whether they wish to play, at which point the competition begins.

"We're turning the reality competition format on its head and plunging the contestants into a real-life 'Bourne Identity' -- not just in the tone and creative but also in terms of the visual style and pacing," said Tony Disanto, executive vp programming and series development at MTV. "Each week will be an action packed mini-movie."

Added FMNA CEO Cecile Frot-Coutaz: " 'The Phone' is an exciting, innovative reality game that will make the viewer feel they're part of an espionage thriller that is gripping to the very end."

The show, debuting in the fall, is exec produced by Timberlake, David Schiff and Frot-Coutaz. Maira Suro is the executive overseeing production for MTV.
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