Clay Spencer, who recently joined MTV as VP scripted series, and Justin Levy, who recently re-upped his deal at the network as VP scripted series, will run the cable network’s scripted department.They succeed David Janollari, who was recently promoted to head of programming in the wake of Tony DiSanto’s departure from the network. Spencer and Levy will be based in Santa Monica, reporting to Janollari.
Over the past year, MTV has made scripted programming a priority with an aggressive development slate, which has resulted in 6 series orders: The Hard Times of RJ Berger, which is returning for a second season, Skins, and the upcoming Teen Wolf, This is Awkward, I Just Want My Pants Back and Good Vibes. Levy has been VP scripted series at MTV since July 2008 spearheading such projects as The Hard Times of RJ Berger, Teen Wolf and This is Awkward. Spencer, who joined MTV in August and has been involved in Good Vibes and Pants as well as the Inbetweeners pilot. He previously worked with Janollari at the WB where he … Read More »
MTV is using reality juggernaut Jersey Shore to launch another scripted series. After debuting raunchy new teen drama Skins after an original episode of Jersey Shore last month, MTV has now slotted the second season premiere of comedy The Hard Times of RJ Berger behind the season finale of Jersey Shore on March 24. Hard Times will move to its regular Monday 10 PM time slot on March 28 with “with Jersey Shore’s Vinny Guadagnino stopping by for some fist-pumping and GTL-ing” per the network. The show, follows the life of RJ Berger, an awkward 15-year old late-blooming outcast with an anatomical gift.
EXCLUSIVE: MTV has picked up drama pilot I Just Want My Pants Back to series, the latest addition to the cable network’s rapidly expanding portfolio of scripted original series. The project, based on the book by David Rosen, is a co-production with Doug Liman and Dave Bartis’ Hypnotic and Universal Cable Prods. Described as an youthful romantic dramedy set in New York City, Pants, which was adapted for TV by Rosen, centers on 22-year-old Jason Strider and his friends who grapple with dating, romance and becoming adults. This has been a passion project for Liman who had worked on it for years. It was originally developed for NBC through UMS where Hypnotic was based. Through their relationship with UCP where they executive produce USA’s Covert Affairs, Liman and Bartis brought the script to the studio. It was then taken to MTV, which greenlighted it to pilot with Liman directing, his first pilot directing gig in more than 3 years. In addition to directing the pilot and executive producing the series, Liman will direct several more episodes. In the end, Pants “found its right home,” MTV’s head of programming David Janollari said. “It has an amazing, authentic 20-something voice, feels contemporary and relatable and will connect with our audience.”
This marks UCP’s first series for a non-NBCU … Read More »
MTV continues to rapidly expand its scripted series portfolio by greenlighting two new half-hour series, the coming-of-age comedy That Girl and horror comedy Death Valley. Each has received a 12-episode order. After reentering the scripted arena last year with the series order to The Hard Times of RJ Berger, which was recently renewed for a second season, MTV has stepped up its scripted efforts, especially after the appointment of David Janollari as EVP of scripted development in January. In the past 4 months, MTV has picked up a whopping 5 new scripted series, dramas Skins and Teen Wolf, comedies That Girl and Death Valley and animated comedy Good Vibes. That is 2.5 times as many Read More »
MTV has renewed original comedy series The Hard Times of RJ Berger for a second season with an order for 12 new episodes. The coming-of-age, about a late-blooming loser, did so-so in its premiere following the MTV Movie Awards. But, while not a breakout hit like some of MTV’s reality series, Hard Times has quietly built audience, posting a 31% increase among P12-34 in the past four weeks. The first season finale airs Aug. 23. “We are 100% committed to scripted programming, and our current reality hits like Teen Mom, If You Really Knew Me, and, of course, Jersey Shore, provide an incredibly solid foundation for us to launch scripted series and let them gain traction,” MTV president of programming Tony DiSanto said. “That’s key, because whereas reality tends to burn bright and fast, scripted series take time to grow. Plus we have been so heavily branded as a reality network it will take a beat for our viewers to embrace
this new diverse slate on the channel.”