Season 4 of MTV‘s flagship comedy Awkward has not even started production yet but the network has already ordered 10 more episodes, bringing the fourth season of the show to 20 episodes. This marks the first season of Awkward without creator/executive producer/showrunner Lauren Iungerich, who left the series when it wrapped production on Season 3 at the end of June. She was succeeded by Chris Alberghini and Mike Chessler as new showrunners. It was likely their outlines for Season 4 combined with the strong ratings performance of Awkward’s Season 3, which is airing its second portion, that prompted MTV to give the early vote of confidence. There is no premiere date for Season 4 set yet.
MTV will pre-release the first episode of its docu-series Generation Cryo on the MTV app tonight — a week before its on-air unveiling. The first episode of the series, following 17-year-old Breeanna, who discovers she has 15 half brothers and sisters during her search for her biological father, will be available on the app 12 AM ET; it premieres on the cable network Monday, November 25 at 10 PM ET/PT.
This marks the latest in a line of recent experiments by Viacom Music and Logo Group, providing access to exclusive content within its brand apps. Recently, MTV became the first network to pre-release an entire season of a series, Wait ‘Til Next Year, in its app prior to premiere on television. Viacom noted that, during the pre-release, the show helped drive the app’s biggest streaming week to date per person, and increased downloads 47% week-over-week. Additionally, the series’ television premiere drew an 8% uptick in the teen demo.
When fans tweeted #UnlockMiley to access two new clips for the Miley: The Movement, MTV app installs increased more than 80% week over week.
Following the television premiere of CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story, VH1 placed the film exclusively in the VH1 app for a week and generated 1.4 million streams of the film and other TLC content.
Robyn DeMarco, Executive Vice President of Programming and Content Strategy for MTV, explained the strategy: “Our audiences are living on these devices and …
2ND UPDATE MONDAY 10 AM: This is a new one — after slamming MTV for Miley Cyrus’ twerking at the Video Music Awards in August, the Parents Television Council today praised the network for censoring Cyrus’ smoking of an apparent marijuana joint at the European Music Awards where she again twerked with a dwarf. “We applaud MTV for taking responsible actions to eliminate the drug use from its U.S. broadcast, and we urge them to make that a uniform policy for all of its programming,” said PTC President Tim Winter.
UPDATE, 6:25 PM: The MTV censors have spoken. The EMAs just aired on the East Coast, and the portion of Miley Cyrus‘ acceptance speech where she lights up what looks like a joint has been cut out. In the edited version that aired in the U.S., Cyrus barely says one line before the camera cuts to an ultra wide shot of the audience and comes back to her for an awkward good-bye. (You can watch and compare the unedited and cut versions below. UPDATE: MTV has moved in to remove the clips with Cyrus’ smoking from video sharing sites.) Had MTV opted to leave the smoking stunt by the 20-year-old Cyrus in, the network most certainly would’ve gotten into hot water with watchdogs and parents.
PREVIOUS 3:50 PM: After the headline-grabbing twerking at the MTV VMAs, Miley Cyrus had been billed as the main attraction for today’s MTV EMAs, with MTV’s promos asking “How Wild Will Miley Get At The EMAs?” Her music performance didn’t break new ground in lowbrow/shock entertainment with more dwarf twerking. But her acceptance speech for Best Music Video will likely create headaches for U.S. censors. During the show, Cyrus pulled out a suspicious-looking cigarette that many have identified as a joint and proceeded to light up and smoke on stage. The ceremony was held in Amsterdam where marijuana is sold in coffee shops. But promoting smoking and likely illegal substances to minors who make up a big portion of the MTV audience in the U.S. is sure to stir controversy and strong reaction from advocacy groups. MTV has yet to respond to requests for comment about whether the smoking incident will be aired in the U.S.
Boston Red Sox’s 2013 World Series MVP David Ortiz and Pittsburgh Pirates All-Star centerfielder Andrew McCutcheon will executive produce the weekly, 30-episode series slated to debut on MTV2 in April 2014. It’s part of a new multi-year, cross-platform programming partnership jointly announced today by MTV and MLB. Shot in New York City from inside the MLB Fan Cave, a space that mixes baseball with music, pop culture, media, interactive technology and art, the new series will move beyond game analysis, stats and highlights to showcase MLB athletes off the field, in addition to celebrity appearances.
“The MLB Fan Cave has been an enormous success in showcasing the personalities of our star players to young fans and intersecting baseball with pop culture,” said Tim Brosnan, Executive Vice President, Business, Major League Baseball. “Being able to partner with MTV on a weekly TV series will give us an opportunity to bring that concept to an even broader audience.”
Olesya Rulin, Justin Martin, Harvey Guillen and Lilan Bowden have been cast in the MTV cyber thriller pilot Eye Candy, about Lindy (Victoria Justice), a reclusive hacker whose blog exposes everything from terrorist plots to suspected killers. She is targeted by a dangerous cyber stalker and teams up with the city’s cyber-crime unit to catch him.
Elise Eberle (Tiger Eyes) has been cast as a regular in WGN America’s drama series Salem. Set in the volatile world of 17th century Massachusetts, it explores what really fueled the town’s infamous witch trials and centers on Mary Sibley (Janet Montgomery), the beautiful, ruthless but vulnerable wife of an ancient, ailing but very wealthy Salem town Selectman. Eberle, repped by Abrams Artists and managers Margrit Polak & Micki Caruso, will play Mercy Lewis, Reverend Lewis’ powerful and vulnerable daughter who is believed to be possessed.
Greer Grammer, who has recurred on the first three seasons of MTV’s flagship comedy series Awkward as Lissa, a naïve but sweet member of Sadie’s (Molly Tarlov) posse, has been upped to series regular for Season 4. Greer, repped by APA, Strategic Talent Group and Lev Ginsburg, will next be seen in the dark comedy feature Chastity Bites.
MTV today said it has become the first network to pre-release an entire season of a series exclusively on an app. Viewers can watch all 12 episodes of the new docu-drama Wait ‘Til Next Year via the MTV app — available on iPhone, iPad and Xbox 360 for Xbox Live Gold members in the U.S. — a week before its TV premiere Friday, November 1 at 8 PM ET/PT. Wait ‘Til Next Year follows one season on and off the football field for the Lincoln Park Railsplitters, a team that’s lost 43 consecutive games over the course of a 5-year losing streak. it centers on the players, cheerleaders, parents and fans who are all on a collective mission to do the one thing no one expects them to do: win. This marks the latest experiment by Viacom Music and Logo Group aimed at providing exclusive content within its brand apps. The MTV app saw an 82% increase in install week over week when MTV launched a “flock-to-unlock” initiative tied to its Miley:The Movement documentary in which fans banded together to tweet #UnlockMiley to access two new clips from the docu exclusively through the app. Earlier this week, MTV’s cable cousin VH1 made its biopic, CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story, exclusively available in the newly launched VH1 app for a week following its televised premiere and encore.
Cynthia Watros Joins MTV Pilot ‘Finding Carter’, Rex Lee & Jonathan Sadowski Cast In ABC Family’s ‘Young & Hungry’
EXCLUSIVE: Lost alumna Cynthia Watros is set to co-star in MTV’s drama pilot Finding Carter, from Emily Silver and Terri Minsky. It centers on teenage Carter, who has the perfect life with her fun-loving single mom Lori until a police bust reveals that Lori abducted her as a toddler. Now Carter must return to the family who thought they had lost her, including her biological mother Elizabeth (Watros), a tough police detective who was devastated by the disappearance of her daughter and will stop at nothing to catch her kidnapper. As she navigates brand-new parents, a twin sister, high school and boys, Carter vows to find Lori before the police capture the only mom she’s ever known and put her behind bars. Watros is with Innovative and Principal LA.
Rex Lee (Entourage) and Jonathan Sadowski ($#*! My Dad Says) have been cast opposite Emily Osment and Aimee Carrero in the ABC Family multi-camera comedy pilot Young & Hungry. Written by David Holden and executive produced by Ashley Tisdale, it centers on Gabi (Osment), a feisty young blogger hired as the personal chef to Nick (Sadowski), a young San Francisco tech entrepreneur. Lee, repped by Thruline and APA, will play Elliott, Nick’s metrosexual and high-strung publicist/right-hand-man. He co-starred on ABC’s Suburgatory …
EXCLUSIVE: MTV has picked up both of its comedy pilots, Happyland and Faking It, to series with eight-episode orders. These were the first MTV scripted pilots greenlighted by the network’s new regime of president Susanne Daniels and and head of scripted Mina Lefevre. Happyland, written by Ben Epstein and executive produced by Storyline’s Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, is described as a soapy teen comedy which explores the underbelly of one of the country’s most popular theme parks and those who work there. The pilot, directed by Lee Toland Krieger, starred Bianca Santos, Zulay Henao, Shane Harper, Katherine McNamara, Cameron Moulene, Brady Smith and Ryan Rottman. Faking It, from 10 Things I Hate About You developer Carter Covington, revolves around two best friends who will do almost anything to fit in and be popular in high school — including pretending to be something they are not. The cast of the pilot, directed by Jamie Travis, included Bailey Buntain, Gregg Sulkin, Katie Stevens, Michael Willett, Rita Volk. On the drama side, MTV has pilots Eye Candy and Finding Carter, now casting.
MTV today announced that it will premiere its docu-series Generation Cryo on Monday, November 25 at 10 PM. Generation Cryo follows a teenaged girl’s effort to locate all of her half-siblings, fathered by anonymous sperm donor #1096 — as well as and her anonymous dad, with the help of Donor Sibling Registry, a website that says it’s dedicated to connecting sperm donor families. In the six-episode docu, Breeanna discovers she has at least 15 half-siblings, and sets out to connect with them and figure out which ones want to search for their father. MTV first announced Generation Cryo last spring; it was part the first programming slate for Susanne Daniels, who was named head of programming at the network in November, replacing David Janollari.
MTV‘s Teen Wolf will howl again for a fourth season, the network announced today at NY Comic-Con. That’s no surprise as werewolf series just enjoyed its most-watched season to date, with the second half of Season 3 set to premiere on January 6. To accompany its fourth season MTV will also debut Wolf Watch, a new Teen Wolf-centric talk show to air after each episode a la AMC‘s Talking Bad and Talking Dead. Cast member Jill Wagner will host the chat show joined by fellow stars and celebrity fans.
MTV, once home of TRL, is bringing music back to its afternoon lineup, this time in the form of a singing competition series. The network has picked up Copycat, a half-hour afternoon strip from The Bachelor creator/executive producer Mike Fleiss. It features contestants battling it out onstage, trying to sound like their favorite recording artists. The studio audience will vote on each performance, with one winner getting a cash prize and the title of “Ultimate Copycat”. Warner Horizon TV and Fleiss’ studio-based Next Entertainment are producing, with Fleiss and Brendon Carter exec producing and Matt Laesch co-exec producing. MTV’s next afternoon series, dating show The Hook Up, premieres on Monday.
Nick Cannon Presents: Wild ‘N Out was the highest-rated series in MTV2 history this past season, averaging 1.1 million total viewers and a 1.3 rating in persons 12-34 in its return to TV. It and its Tuesday night counterpart Ain’t That America With Lil Duval will now return for new seasons in 2014, MTV said today. The two shows helped fuel the network’s most-watched year ever in the demo. The new incarnation of improv show Wild ‘N Out, which originally aired on MTV from 2005-2007, premiered strongly on MTV2 in July, with lead-out viral-video show Ain’t That America debuting as the network’s second-highest-rated show behind it. Up next for MTV2 is the November 6 launch of original series Guy Court, from the creator and producers of MTV’s Girl Code and MTV2’s Guy Code.
The pro skateboarder will be back for a fourth season of Ridiculousness and a sixth and final run of Rob Dyrdek Fantasy Factory. MTV has made a full 22-episode order for Ridiculousness, which spotlights amateur viral videos and will have its Season 3 finale on Thursday — featuring the Fantasy Factory cast. Rob Dyrdek will continue to host along with Chanel West Coast and Sterling “Steelo” Brim. And Fantasy Factory will wrap with a 10-episode season from the 25,000-square-foot office building/skate park, reuniting usual suspects Dyrdek, West Coast, Brim, Christopher “Big Black” Boykin, Chris “Drama” Pfaff and Scott “Big Cat” Pfaff. Both series are produced by Dickhouse, the company behind the Jackass franchise and other shows, and exec produced by Dyrdek, Jeff Tremaine, Shane Nickerson and Christian Duguay. The new seasons will premiere in 2014.
MTV has ordered two hourlong pilots: family drama Finding Carter, from Emily Silver and Terri Minsky, and cyber thriller Eye Candy, from top horror producer Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity) and Twilight helmer Catherine Hardwicke. The orders follow recent pilot pickups for comedies Faking It and Happyland, while a Scream series adaptation continues to be on fast-track development.
FAKING IT (single-camera)
PICKED UP TO SERIES
TEAM: Carter Covington (ep)
LOGLINE: Two best friends will do almost anything to fit in and be popular in high school — including pretending to be something they are not.
CAST: Bailey Buntain, Gregg Sulkin, Katie Stevens, Michael Willett, Rita Volk
PICKED UP TO SERIES
TEAM: Ben Epstein (w), Lee Toland Krieger (d), Neil Meron (ep), Craig Zadan (ep)
LOGLINE: Soapy teen yarn explores the underbelly of one of the country’s most popular theme parks and those who work there.
CAST: Bianca Santos, Zulay Henao, Shane Harper, Katherine McNamara, Cameron Moulene, Brandy Smith, Ryan Rothman
TEAM: Jason Blum (ep), Catherine Hardwicke (ep, d), Emmy Grinwis (w, co-ep)
LOGLINE: Tech genius Lindy begins to suspect that one of her online suitors might be a deadly cyber stalker. When her friends at the cyber-police uncover a potential serial killer in Manhattan, all signs point to one of Lindy’s dates. She works with the hackers to solve the murders while unleashing her own style of justice.
CAST: Victoria Justice, Nico Tortorella, Olesya Rulin, Justin Martin, Harvey Guillen, Lilan Bowden
TEAM: Emily Silver (w), Terri Minsky (ep)
LOGLINE: Carter has the perfect life with her fun-loving single mom Lori until it’s revealed that Lori abducted her as a toddler. Now Carter must return to the family who thought they had lost her while trying to find Lori before the police capture the only mom she’s ever known.
CAST: Cynthia Watros
EXCLUSIVE: Bianca Santos (The Fosters) will lead the cast of MTV‘s comedy pilot Happyland. Also cast in the project, written by Ben Epstein, directed by Lee Toland Krieger and executive produced by Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, are Zulay Henao (Love Thy Neighbor), Shane Harper (Awkward), Katherine McNamara (Contest) and Cameron Moulene (Raising Hope). Happyland is a soapy teen comedy exploring the underbelly of one of the country’s most popular theme parks and those who work there. It centers on Lucy (Santos), a cynical teen working as a greeter at the park where her single mother (Henao) has played a fairytale princess for 15 years, and explores the realities of growing up and falling in love while living in a make-believe world. Harper will play Ian, the handsome son of the park’s new president, a new hire at the park who is smitten by feisty Lucy.
The latest docu-series from the erstwhile music channel will bow next month. Big Tips Texas, which follows a handful of girlfriends working together at a Dallas-area bar, premieres October 9 on MTV with back-to-back episodes starting at 10 PM. Scrubbing In, about nine traveling nurses who have been relocated to a hospital in California’s Orange County, arrives at 10 PM October 24. Big Tips is exec produced by Shannon Fitzgerald and Tiffany Lea Williams. Fitzgerald and David Osper are EPs for Scrubbing In.