MTV developing thrills, chills


After the pickup of its first scripted series in five years, MTV has two more scripted projects in development, including a thriller tentatively titled "Darius" and a campy horror show tentatively titled "Cheerleader Camp."

"Darius" is described as a thriller that explores the dark, secret life of an all-American teenager. The project is being executive produced by Tony Krantz — who is one of the exec producers on MTV's scripted series "Kaya," which received a series order in February — and was created by Adam Ripp and Steven Wolfson, who also are executive producing and co-writing. Ripp also would direct. Krantz's Flame TV is producing.

"Darius" would employ a combination of traditional narrative and multimedia elements, said Tony DiSanto, executive vp series development and programming at MTV.

"It's a multimedia approach to storytelling and will allow us cool extensions into other platforms," he said. "It's also a tonal shift for us as well, touching on the thriller genre, and I love being able to play in different areas."

"Cheerleader Camp," meanwhile, is described as "Heathers" meets "Scream." It's from Scout Prods. ("Queer Eye for the Straight Guy") and Charles F. Bohl.

"I'm a big horror fan, and this is something that's really new and different and fun," DiSanto said.

MTV's overall programming strategy is to find a good balance of different ideas, formats, genres and styles, DiSanto added.

"We're all about letting the ideas lead and making sure we have a balance of scripted, reality, drama, horror, comedy, etc., so we can offer our viewers diverse programming," he said. "Creatively, we're all working as one team right now with the common goal of launching hits and letting more viewers experience MTV across all screens. … We're looking for new and different ideas and playing in different arenas."

DiSanto added that he's looking at fast-tracking development with a "laser focus on the right ideas and not sitting on our slate forever."

It's yet to be determined whether "Darius" or "Camp" would be hourlong or half-hours. "Kaya" is a half-hour music-themed drama.

Krantz's recent credits include Warner Bros. Pictures' "Sublime" and its upcoming "Believers." He also was an executive producer on Fox's "24." He is repped by Endeavor and attorney Harold Brown.

Ripp and Wolfson wrote the upcoming Beacon Pictures feature "Scavenger," which Ripp is directing. They also wrote the Fox/Fox 21 pilot "Hollywood Vice" and the Lionsgate film "Gang Tapes," both of which Ripp directed. They are repped by CAA, Trevor Engelson at Underground Films and Management and attorney Dave Feldman.

Bohl wrote the feature "Swimfan" and the TV movie "Martha Behind Bars." He is repped by Paradigm, manager Alison Rozenzweig and attorney Keith Fleer.