When NFL teams win the Super Bowl, they go to Disneyland; when celebrities go to jail, they get a reality show. VH1 just announced it has greenlighted a new 10-episode reality series starring rapper T.I., who is readjusting to life as a free man and recording a new album after being incarcerated for nearly a year in a federal prison in Arkansas — his second stint in three years. The yet-untitled series will premiere Dec. 5. Grammy-winning T.I., who has a wife and kids, has an acting background — he co-starred in and produced the Sony heist movie Takers, which did very well at the box office, opening at No. 1 last August. A couple of days later, T.I. was arrested.
Six months after the NBC Universal-Comcast merger was completed, Ryan Seacrest, the reality king of the Comcast part of the company, is crossing over to the other side with a docu-series series for Bravo. Tentatively titled Shahs of Sunset, it follows a group of affluent young Persian-American friends who juggle their flamboyant, fast-paced L.A. lifestyles with the demands of their families and traditions.“The series will offer rich characters and relatable storylines about everyday life — love, work, friendship and family — steeped in a diverse culture, which is wildly entertaining and fun,” Seacrest said. Sounds like an upscale, West Coast version of Jersey Shore. While they have a big presence in a number of areas of Southern California, including the San Fernando Valley, Orange Country and Los Angeles’ Westwood area, the influx of affluent Iranian-American families in Beverly Hills has been a phenomenon over the past decade. They are the dominant ethnic group at Beverly Hills High, something reflected in the new 90210 series, and recently got their first Mayor, Jimmy Delshad, who served 2 terms. On Bravo, the new series is expected to fit with the Real Housewives franchise and Million Dollar Listing. Meanwhile, Seacrest has also been talking to NBC about a new music competition series leading to speculation that he may leave American Idol when his contact is up next year.
The CW has picked up two more new reality series for next season: The Frame, about teams of two living in a single room, and Re-Modeled, about small modeling agencies banding together to take on the big fish. The two shows join H8er, which was ordered earlier today for what I think is the largest number of new unscripted series ever introduced by the CW at its upfront as new president Mark Pedowitz is looking to combat the long stretches of low-rated drama reruns. Re-Modeled, for instance, can serve as a nice bridge between the two seasons of AMerica’s Next Top Model. The Frame is a bi-weekly show, in which 10 teams of two will each live in a single room — one Frame — for up to eight weeks, under 24/7 surveillance. They will face challenges, head-to-head competitions and eliminations, all while isolated from the outside world, with the viewers controlling who stays and who goes. Shed Media and Armoza International Media are producing, with Nick Emmerson and Jen O’Connell exec producing. In Re-Modeled, modeling industry veteran Paul Fisher is planning to bring together hundreds of small agencies around the world in a new venture called The Network to make sure agents in small towns no longer get screwed, and to empower models to take control of their careers and lead healthier lives.
Bristol Palin had been heavily courted for her own reality series following her highly rated run on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars. Now she has settled on her follow-up to Dancing, a docu-series for BIO Channel, which reunites her with her Dancing co-star, actor Kyle Massey. BIO has ordered 10 half-hour episodes of the untitled series, which also will feature Massey’s brother, actor Christopher Massey. It follows single mom Bristol Palin’s move from Alaska to Los Angeles with her son, Tripp, to work at a small charity in need while living with her good friends Chris and Kyle Massey. The series, produced by Associated Television International, is slated to air late this year. “Bristol is the kind of personality BIO is drawn to,” said David McKillop, EVP Programming, A&E Network and BIO Channel. “Her personal life has been playing out in the media for several years, but this will be the first time she’s opening up her real life, with her son and her friends the Massey brothers.“ While on Dancing, Bristol became very close with fellow contestant Kyle Massey and, since the show, she has become best friends with him and his brother Chris. ATI’s David McKenzie and Jim Romanovich serve as executive producers alongside McKillop, Tom Moody and Andy Berg. Palin follows in the footsteps of mom …