Complete MCN TCA Coverage
Los Angeles-- Tony DiSanto, MTV executive vice president of series development and programming promised critics "an unprecedented set of series launches" during 2009, but the network decided to promote two to TV critics here: T.I.'s Road to Redemption: 45 Days to Go and How's Your News?The former follows Atlanta rapper T.I. making music and completing 1,000 hours of community service before he goes to prison for a felony conviction related to an attempt to buy machine-guns and silencers. Asked why he'd been trying to buy weapons, T.I. said he'd made "terrible choices" and attributed his actions to "a lack of thought."
But the best thing that has happened to the 27-year-old rapper, he said, was to get caught. Had he bought the guns, he said he might have made other bad choices.
Producers said they first met with the rapper when he was alone, in his Atlanta-area mansion, under house arrest and mulling what he had done to his life. The rapper is taking responsibility for all the bad things he's done in his life, they added. His message could have a really profound impact on kids from the same kind of neighborhoods in which T.I. grew up. The rapper is shown talking to school and community groups about how to avoid getting into the kind of trouble in which he finds himself.
This show is not part of his community service requirement, T.I. added, but an extra effort he wanted to make to reach more teens.
The series premieres Feb. 10 at 9 p.m. with subsequent episodes scheduled at 9:30 p.m. Production is ongoing and will include the day in March when T.I., who faces up to 30 years in prison, learns how much time he'll spend in jail.How's Your News, executive-produced by South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, will be part of a new MTV Sunday night block, including Nitro Circus, The CollegeHumor Show and Rob Dydrek's Fantasy Factory. The news comedy show features a team of reporters with disabilities who drive across the country in a customized tour bus, documenting their experiences during their travels.
Segments range from Grammy red-carpet coverage and surfing with pro surfers, to going to a mall where one cast member tried to pick up girls while accompanied by John Stamos as a "wingman."
DiSanto said the show, which he called fresh and inventive, belongs on MTV because executives couldn't imagine it anywhere else.
The reporters have definitely learned the TV game: As the TCA panel wrapped, one of the disabled performers pitched DiSanto on a second season. The rookie run starts Feb. 8.
DiSanto noted that MTV has added Be the Change, Live from the Inaugural on Jan. 20. It will feature segments from youth service projects from Africa to