Cabler ready to roll on '2Gether,' 'Jailbait'

MTV has begun production on its first two telefilms, which will air on the music cabler in 2000.

“2Gether,” a mockumentary about a boy band, is set to premiere in February; “Jailbait,” a drama about a high school football star accused of the statutory rape of his 16-year-old girlfriend, will air in the second quarter 2000.

Pics are budgeted at $3 million to $3.5 million each, slightly more than the average broadcast network telefilm. The web will premiere each film entirely commercial-free. “We wanted to make them more like theatrical events,” said Brian Graden, exec VP, programming and production.

Pre- and post-shows

MTV plans to package the telefilms with live programs before and after the broadcasts, featuring behind-the-scenes footage on the making of the movies. “We’ll do a pre-show with the stars of the film milling about; we’ll come back at the end of the film and do a post-show where people talk about the experience of watching the movie,” said Graden.

With nine telefilms on its development slate, MTV plans to present four original made-fors in 2000. They will be music-driven, inspired by real life or will explore coming-of-age themes. “We’ll pick stories that you won’t mistake for disease-of-the-week movies,” said Graden.

“2Gether” began production in late November. in Vancouver, B.C. Musicvid director Nigel Dick is helming the telefilm, which will feature actors who sing original music composed under the supervision of Julie Glaze Houlihan (“Sweetwater,” “Roswell”). Brian and Mark Gunn wrote the script.

“Jailbait,” which started filming in late November in Toronto, is being produced in conjunction with Stanley M. Brooks’ Once Upon a Time Films. Allan Moyle (“Pump Up the Volume”) directs from a script by Tim Garrick and Scott Russell. Cast members include Mary Gross (“Sabrina the Teenage Witch”), Matt Frewer (“Honey, I Shrunk the Kids”) and Mo Gaffney (“Drop Dead Gorgeous”).

Deal with Keystone

Meanwhile, Canada’s Intl. Keystone Entertainment has entered into a three-year pact with the music net to distribute four to six of the pics outside of the U.S., including all territories outside North America.

The deal essentially launches Keystone’s latest venture, Keystone Generation, the new banner under which the company aims to acquire, as well as produce, youth-oriented fare.

Keystone Family Pictures produced Disney’s “Air Bud” (1997) and the follow-up, “Air Bud: Golden Receiver.” The company is currently in production on a third installment, “Air Bud: World Pup.”

With offices in Vancouver and Malibu, Intl. Keystone Entertainment is an integrated entertainment company that produces theatrical pics and digital media content.

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