Oxygen duets with Coolio

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Oxygen has greenlighted an unscripted series starring rapper Coolio that will follow his trials and tribulations as he tries to balance his work with his role as a single parent raising six teenagers.

The network has ordered six half-hour episodes of the series, titled "Coolio & the Gang," set to air in second-quarter 2008. Oxygen will produce with RDF USA, whose reality credits include ABC's "Wife Swap," Fox's "Don't Forget the Lyrics" and Lifetime's upcoming "How to Look Good Naked."

Coolio, whose recording career took off in 1995, boasts three platinum albums and six top 10 hits, including "Gansta's Paradise" and "Fantastic Voyage." The series will show him balancing his life as a family man with his rap career and launching his own clothing line.

Debby Beece, president of programming and marketing at Oxygen, said "Coolio" will feature comedic elements. She added that shows about people juggling a career and home life resonate with Oxygen viewers and likened "Coolio" to a real-life version of "My Three Sons."

"Oxygen likes to rewrite the rulebook for women and women's programming, and this show has a lot of inherent female appeal," she said. "Coolio is a single dad raising kids, and it's got a lot of unconventional parenting aspects to it. He wants his kids to do as he says, not as he does."

Chris Coelen, CEO of RDF USA, said viewers won't be disappointed.

"Coolio's unconventional methods of discipline are guaranteed to entertain," he said.

Added Greg Goldman, executive vp development at RDF USA: "In Coolio, we have a fascinating reality character -- an unfiltered opinion, a unique point of view and a personality that explodes off the screen. We can't wait to get the cameras rolling."

Coolio is executive producing the series with Goldman, Coelen and Susan Haber of Haber Entertainment. RDF USA's Mike Duffy is co-executive producing. At Oxygen, the series will be managed by senior vp development and production Aaron Meyerson and vp development Kristin Connolly Vadas.
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