Continuing its aggressive program-development effort, MTV:
Music Television will debut five new original series this summer as part of its "10
Spot" block, which runs weeknights from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., officials said last week.
"This is the third phase of the work that we're
doing," said Brian Graden, MTV's executive vice president of programming.
The five new shows are part of MTV's most sweeping
programming development to date -- an initiative that kicked off in January, when the
network announced that it had more than 20 pilots in development. In the second stage of
the effort, in April, MTV unveiled a new primetime music block, which included Artists
Cut, Say What? and Total Request.
As part of the summer slate, MTV's third phase of
changes, Celebrity Death Match will premiere May 14 at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. The
weekly, clay-animated series will feature fantasy fights that pit clay versions of
celebrities against each other. MTV introduced Celebrity Death Match in January,
with a Super Bowl halftime special that showed celebrity slugfests such as Howard Stern
vs. Kathie Lee Gifford; Pamela Anderson Lee vs. RuPaul; and Hanson vs. The Spice Girls.
The special earned a hefty 4.6 Nielsen Media Research rating, MTV reported.
The second new show coming to MTV this summer is BIOrhythm,
which will be introduced June 23 at 10:30 p.m. Without narration, BIOrhythm will
offer biographies of musical artists that let the images and music speak for themselves.
Two initial episodes will feature Tupac Shakur and Kurt Cobain.
The third series, Fanatic, a daily interview show,
will debut June 29 at 11 p.m. During the show, fans will be yanked from their daily lives
to interview music stars.
MTV's Sifl & Olly, a half-hour, weekly
series featuring hip sock puppets, will go on air July 13 at 12:30 a.m. Finally, Super
Adventure Team will premiere in early August, and it is set to air at 10:30 p.m. The
half-hour weekly series is both a homage to and satire of the old-time Saturday-afternoon
series of the 1970s.
MTV is trying to be more experimental and daring with its
original shows for the 10 Spot, compared with its new primetime programming, according to
"We will go farther afield with it," he said.
For example, while the new primetime shows are
music-video-oriented, the 10 Spot fare is just music-oriented, Graden said.
"It's not video-based."
A number of veteran shows will be returning to the 10 Spot
this summer, including Real World, Road Rules, Cartoon Sushi and Daria.