Exercise expert tries his hand at reality TV

“Body by Jake” multimillionaire Jake Steinfeld is giving the Donald a run for his money.

Exercise expert has teamed with Lions Gate Television for “Be the Boss,” a competition-series format that follows Steinfeld as he coaches aspiring entrepreneurs while they duke it out in a series of business-related challenges.

Contestants on “Be the Boss” will be asked to present, test, defend and market their product or idea — with the aid and empowering techniques of Steinfeld — in the hopes of winning the startup capital necessary to launch a company.

Planet Grande Prods.’ John Watkin and Eamon Harrington (“Breaking the News”) will exec produce the series, currently being shopped to networks.

“The story of how Jake turned his life around through personal fitness to develop a half-billion-dollar business and become a TV personality and author is well known,” said Lions Gate TV topper Kevin Beggs. “What most people don’t know is that he is a highly sought-after guest lecturer at some of the nation’s most prestigious business schools, and most recently founded the highly successful Major League Lacrosse. He’s also a down-to-earth real person middle America loves.” 

Lions Gate’s hope is for “Be the Boss” to get on the air timed to the spring 2005 release of Steinfeld’s book “I’ve Seen a Lot of Famous People Naked and They’ve Got Nothing on You.” Chronicling the fitness guru’s own and other business success stories, tome is aimed at businessmen of all experience levels.

Project is just one of several business-minded skeins making their way to air in the wake of NBC’s hit “The Apprentice.” ABC has “The Benefactor”; men’s cabler Spike TV will preem the reality series “I Hate My Job,” featuring Al Sharpton performing career renovations on a trio of men; and “American Start-Up,” from Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s LivePlanet, inspired by their experiences creating the production company. In addition, TLC has slated “Taking Care of Business” to bow in October. Skein will give small-business owners’ stores a makeover.

Lions Gate TV also is producing 13-episode CBS series “The Cut” with designer Tommy Hilfiger.

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