CW fashions a Banks shot


The CW is extending its relationship with Tyra Banks and Ken Mok.

The network has greenlighted an untitled fashion magazine reality series from the duo behind the CW's No. 1 show, "America's Next Top Model," and a trio of producers behind Bravo's reality hit "Project Runway."

Eli Holzman, who developed "Runway" at Miramax TV, and the show's executive producers Jane Cha and Desiree Gruber, fashion experts and managers of "Runway" host Heidi Klum, came up the initial idea for the new series and pitched it to the CW. The network in turn suggested a collaboration with Banks and Mok in mounting the production because of Banks' background as a supermodel and the duo's experience in the fashion reality genre with "Top Model."

Banks, Mok, Holzman, Cha and Gruber will executive produce the series, which has received an eight-episode order and will begin production in April for a launch in late spring or summer.

Banks' Bankable Prods., Mok's 10X10 Entertainment and Cha and Gruber's Full Picture are producing.

The new series, described as "The Devil Wears Prada" meets "The Assistant," is eyed as a potential companion piece for "Top Model."

"It is a competition show about aspiring assistants looking to become assistant editors at a fashion magazine," Mok said. "At the same time they're trying to prove themselves as aspiring fashionistas, that they have a sense of style and savvyness, all the things to make it in the fashion world."

In each episode, the contestants will compete in two different challenges. In the individual assistant competition, the winner will get to come up with the pairings for a team editorial challenge. In the team editorial challenge, each squad will submit a page for "The Book," a mock edition of the magazine. The losing team's page will end up in the trash, and one of its team members will be eliminated. The page from the other team will be included in "The Book." The winner of the series will land a job in the fashion industry.

To make the show as organic to the fashion world as possible, the producers are in negotiation with a leading fashion magazine to host the contestants. The magazine's editors are expected to appear on the series and help judge the challenges.

The fashion magazine project marks the first series for Banks and Mok as a team since "Top Model." Mok executive produces CW's reality series "Pussycat Dolls Present," which returns for a second season Feb. 18, and VH1's "The (White) Rapper Show."