Multiplatform Upfront for MTVN


New York -- MTV Networks pities the fool who doesn’t get on the multiplatform bandwagon.

The group unveiled new content for its various networks during a spirited and celebrity-tinged upfront presentation here Tuesday night while emphasizing sponsorship opportunities to potential advertisers on a number of new-media distribution platforms.

While the upfronts are developed mostly to promote upcoming cable-network programming to advertisers, MTVN’s shindig at Madison Square Garden -- which included such stars as Mr. T, Jerry Seinfeld and Jessica Alba, as well as music performances from Kayne West and Red Hot Chili Peppers -- clearly pushed a multiplatform message that included the programmer’s various linear, video-broadband and mobile brands.

“MTV Networks is all about developing original content specifically for every platform -- for television, wireless and broadband,” chairman Judy McGrath said. “We are the only pure-play content company with a global footprint and a multimedia playbook.”

MTVN added another enhanced video-Internet site to its portfolio of branded services with the summer launch of “The Click,” an online media player that will allow users to mix and match videos from The N shows like recently renewed freshman scripted skein South of Nowhere with personal music and digital images, according to Nickelodeon president Cyma Zarghami.

As for its linear-network content, new shows and specials include:

• TV Land: I Pity the Fool, a new reality/self-help show starring Mr. T; My First Time, showcasing the roles that changed the lives of celebrities; and Back to the Grid, which pits celebrities in the real-life roles that made them famous on television.

• Spike TV: Bullrun, an event series based on the international automotive rally of the same name; and Scream 2006, an annual televised event devoted to celebrating the horror, science-fiction and fantasy genres.

• Nick at Nite: The classic network service will add vintage comedy series A Different World, Newsradio, Designing Women and Home Improvement to its lineup over the next two years.

• CMT: Foxworthy’s Big Night Out, a 12-episode comedy-sketch series featuring the popular comedian; Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team, an eight-episode series that goes behind the scenes of the cheerleader team’s tryouts; Finding Miss America, a seven-episode series that follows the 52 Miss America finalists through the preliminary competitions prior to the 2007 Miss America Pageant; and Broken Bridges, an original film starring country-music performer Toby Keith.

• MTV: Blowin’ Up, a reality comedy featuring Jamie Kennedy’s pursuit of a hip-hop career; and Rob & Big Black, a reality buddy comedy starring professional street skateboarder Rob Dyrdek and his bodyguard and best friend, Christopher “Big Black” Boykin.

• VH1: Ice-T’s Rap School, a reality series in which the famed rapper teaches the fine art of hip-hop to students at an exclusive New York City prep school. The network also announced that digi-net service VH1 Soul will begin selling commercials in the third quarter.