MTV Slates Green and 'Storytelling'


New York— MTV: Music Television has green-lit two new programs, including a late-night talk show hosted by network veteran Tom Green, and unveiled a development slate of a dozen reality-oriented pilots last week.

MTV officials said they will go ahead with The New Tom Green Talk Show, a one-hour nightly talkfest, as well as a reality series that will chronicle singer Jessica Simpson and 98 Degrees boy-band member Nick Lachey's first year as newlyweds. Green's show premieres June 16 at midnight, and the untitled Simpson-Lachey show is slated for August.

Reality rules

In addition, MTV has given the go-ahead to 12 pilots for its development slate for the rest of this year. In When I Was 17,
celebrities will recall what they were like at that age and the pivotal events that shaped their lives. That pilot will premiere April 17 as part of MTV's "TRL High School Week."

Another pilot, High School Stories: Scandals, Pranks and Controversies, will also premiere that week, on April 16.

Other MTV pilots include: a Paula Abdul-led cheerleading-competition reality show; Girl Makes Band ,
a reality game show in which teams of teen girls hand-pick and create a band; Lifeguard,
a reality show that follows several lifeguards; Homewrecker,
in which eight contestants move into a house controlled by producers who try to force the housemates out; and Posse ,
about the entourages of mega-stars.

Last Friday, at a presentation for advertisers in New York City, MTV and VH1 president of entertainment Brian Graden explained MTV's take on reality programming, a format pioneered by the network with such shows as The Real World. After some soul-searching at MTV — and a look at the fare now on broadcast — Graden said the network's goal is dramatic, character-driven reality shows.

"Dramatic storytelling is what made our reality work for years," Graden told media buyers at the session, at which all of MTV Networks' music channels made pitches for their services.

Touting their own

Shows like Green's return to MTV are part of that network's effort "to create ongoing opportunities" with talent nurtured at the network, Graden said.

Also at last week's event, CMT: Country Music Television outlined its plans for eight new series and a dozen specials.

Series includes reality programming such as CMT's answer to Home Box Office's Taxicab Confessions,
called Beauty Secrets,
in which women having their hair done in a salon are secretly taped by a camera hidden behind the beauty shop's mirror; Rodeo Road,
about life on the circuit and the "buckle bunny" groupies who follow the buckeroos; and CMT's Ultimate Country Home,
in which 13 country-music stars each redo a room in a mansion.