CBS takes big bites of reality


CBS is beefing up its reality coffers with three new series.

The network has picked up Katalyst Films' "Game Show in My Head," the biweekly celebrity talent contest "Secret Talents of the Stars" and the R.J. Cutler-produced dog competition "America's Top Dog" to air this year.

These are CBS' first unscripted series orders since the writers walkout began. Although CBS reality chief Ghen Maynard and his counterparts at the other networks had been aggressively developing projects in the months leading up to the strike, the networks haven't rushed to order new reality series during the first two months of the work stoppage.

"Game Show," based on a British format, originally was picked up as a pilot by CBS in March, before Ashton Kutcher and Jason Goldberg's Katalyst inked a wide-reaching TV deal with CBS Corp., which gives CBS and the CW Network a first look at Katalyst's unscripted development.

"Game Show," which Katalyst is co-producing with Fox21 and the U.K.-based Hat Trick Prods., is a hidden-camera game show in which contestants go about their life until, instructed by the host through an earpiece, they have to perform a series of outrageous and oftentimes embarrassing tasks in public for a cash prize.

Jimmy Mulville, Leon Wilde, Kutcher, Goldberg and Karey Burke are executive producing.

"Secret Talents" will feature celebrities competing in a tournament-structured format. In a performance show every week, celebrities will show off such hidden talents as singing, dancing, magic or acrobatics in front of a panel of judges. Viewers will then vote on who stays in the competition, with the outcome revealed during a results show.

Robyn Nash and Don Weiner are executive producing for Magic Molehill Prods.

"Top Dog" will feature a group of dogs and their owners living together and battling it out for a cash prize.

Cutler, Stu Schreiberg and Stephen Kroopnick for Magic Molehill.