MyNet adds glitz to jocks

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A day after announcing the new pro football series "NFL Network: Total Access," MyNetworkTV said Thursday that it has scheduled two new celebrity-centered original series for Monday nights.

The new series -- "Celebrity Expose," from the producers of "Access Hollywood," and concert series "Control Room Presents" -- are set to debut Oct. 1, taking the place of "IFL Battleground."

"Our recent specials on Anna Nicole Smith and Britney Spears as well as presentations of the 'World Music Awards' and Elton John's 60th birthday were hits with viewers," MyNet president Greg Meidel said. "We are thrilled to bring this combination of programming to MyNetworkTV on a weekly basis."

"Expose," from Access Entertainment News Prods., will go behind the headlines to show the lives of celebrities, with Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears likely possible subjects for the first episode. "Access Hollywood" executive producer Rob Silverstein will oversee production on the hourlong show, which will air at 8 p.m.

The Smith and Spears specials, which aired in the spring, also were produced by the "Access Hollywood" team. MyNet had said in May when it unveiled its fall schedule that it would stay in business with "Access," with 10 specials aired throughout the 2007-08 season, but executives have now decided to make it a weekly series based on the performance of the Smith and Spears installments.

"With celebrity interest at an all-time high, we look forward to delivering a strong hour of television each week with an in-depth look behind the Hollywood headlines of all their favorite celebrities," Silverstein said.

"Control Room," which will air at 9 p.m., will feature concert performances presented in high-definition at venues around the world. The hourlong series will premiere with Maroon 5 at Montreal's Cabaret Club, John Mayer at New York's Webster Hall and Mandy Moore at Chicago Park West. The show also will offer behind-the-scenes interviews and back-stage access.

"Our partnership will bring MyNetworkTV audiences 'Control Room's' engaging programming, featuring chart-topping artists, impressive venues and exclusive special events," said Kevin Wall, CEO of Control Room, a production-distribution company with credits that include this summer's Live Earth concert event.

Added Aaron Grosky, executive vp music programming and artist relations at Control Room: "The level of artist that we work with is amazing, and this show will provide network TV a differentiating piece of programming in light of what is currently available from a music perspective."

"IFL," meanwhile, wraps up its current season Sept. 24 and will return sometime in 2008 with new episodes. Encore episodes will continue airing at 8 p.m. Saturdays, leading in to "Total Access" at 9 p.m.
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