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MTV to Create Hip-Hop Series, Movies

12/19/2001 4:47 AM Eastern

MTV: Music Television announced Wednesday that it will create a theatrical
film, an original telefilm and series based on the works and talents of
hip-hop/theater performers the Bomb-itty Boys.

The deal -- the first multiplatform development deal for MTV's television and
film departments -- will develop a theatrical film based on off-Broadway show
TheBomb-itty of Errors, a hip-hop version of Shakespeare's
Comedy of Errors.

In addition, the show's stars -- most of whom are recent graduates of New
York University's Experimental Theater Wing -- will be featured in a TV movie
and series created by MTV's music-development and original-TV-series divisions,
respectively, MTV executives said.

The announcement came on the heels of a similar multiplatform deal with the
producers of MTV's controversial reality series, Jackass.

Stunt man and Jackass star Johnny Knoxville, along with executive
producers Jeff Tremaine and Spike Jonze, will work with MTV to create a
theatrical feature-length film and three television specials to air on MTV next
year.

Additionally, the network is in discussions with the creators of
Jackass about a variety of other projects, details of which were not
disclosed.

The deal, however, does not include a renewal of the contentious
Jackass series, which is currently in reruns on MTV.

The show and MTV drew criticism from Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.), among
others, as teens began emulating some of its dangerous stunts despite various
disclaimers at the top of the program and warnings preceding its segments.

In the most notorious incident, a Connecticut youth sustained serious burns
after copying a stunt in which Knoxville essentially barbecued himself.
Knoxville wore a heat-resistant suit during the stunt, but the youth didn't, and
he was injured.

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