Skein puts twist on biography genre; Woods featured in pilot
Having previously gone “Behind the Music,” Gay Rosenthal and Jeff Gaspin are now getting “Naked.”Rosenthal and Gaspin — the veteran reality producer and Bravo prexy, respectively — are teaming up for a new celeb bio series in the works at Bravo. It’s a reunion for the duo, the guiding forces behind VH1′s “Behind the Music.” “Naked” is one of several major projects in the pipeline at Gay Rosenthal Prods. Shingle’s slate includes partnerships with Jason Alexander and Martin Lawrence for projects, a reality concept for NBC, multihour commitments from Discovery and TV Land and the upcoming “Frasier” finale night clip show. Paul Barrosse serves as exec or co-exec producers on all projects, while GRP exec veep Nicholas Caprio serves as supervising producer. As for “Naked,” skein will put a twist on the bio series genre by letting celebs watch the highlights of their lives unfold in front of a studio audience. Participants and a host will screen a biographical documentary while armed with remotes. Either party can pause the footage to question, debate or defend some of the not-so-gushing commentary. Woods up first Pilot episode features James Woods with testimony from pals Melanie Griffith, Alec Baldwin and Sharon Stone, among others. Alex Cambert hosted the pilot. “It’s like ‘Defending Your Life,’ ” Rosenthal said. “They get the opportunity to set the record straight.” Bravo has made a pilot commitment to “Naked,” which is based on a French format the cabler acquired. Show will give stars “a forum to respond to their critics and to debunk myths or confirm the truth about their career and personal life,” said Frances Berwick, Bravo senior programming/production veep. Meanwhile, Rosenthal is once again working with VH1, teaming with the cabler for a pilot presentation of a skein that would follow a two-week dance marathon. It’s being referred to inhouse as “I Will Survive.” “It’s a very organic survival game that we’re reinventing for television,” Barrosse said. Then there’s “Mutt Makeover,” a “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”-style series for canines that’s in active development at USA Network with an eye on serving as companion to the cabler’s coverage of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Rosenthal is partnering with Animal Fare magazine founder Wendy Diamond for the project. ‘Pound to the penthouse’ “We take dogs from the pound to the penthouse,” Rosenthal explained. “We have our makeover team: our vet, the groomer, the stylist, the trainer and the pet psychic. We’re going to take the mangiest dogs and you’re going to give them a complete makeover.” Show will have the double reveal of the dog’s transformation and the unveiling of new owners. Elsewhere on GRP’s development slate:
- Rosenthal and Alexander are shopping the reality-sitcom hybrid “Let Bob Do It.” Series focuses on real-life people in real-life situations and adds in a scripted element: the comic behind-the-scenes antics involved in the making of that reality show.
- A primetime reality skein for NBC puts yet another twist on the relationship genre. Peacock has optioned the concept for a six-figure sum, but Rosenthal declined to comment on the specifics — not surprising given the rising concerns over idea theft in the unscripted world.
- Also for NBC and Paramount Network Television, GRP will produce the previously announced one-hour retrospective that will lead in to the finale of “Frasier” on May 13.
- As previously reported, Rosenthal has also teamed with TBS and Martin Lawrence on a hidden-camera series that lets comedians prank their pals (Daily Variety, March 2). Darice Rollins is co-exec producer for Lawrence’s Run Tell That Prods.
- TV Land has given GRP a commitment for five one-hour specials, all of which will be tied together thematically. Cabler is keeping a tight lid on details of the project. Also at TV Land, GRP is working on “Table Read,” a skein that reunites former television casts for a re-reading of a memorable episode (Daily Variety, Sept. 16).
- Discovery Channel has ordered three one-hour docs that will launch as part of the “American” franchise led by the father-son hit “American Chopper.” Each doc will air as a spec with the option to spin off into a series.
- Rosenthal is also nearing a studio deal for “Surfer Girl,” an animated series that focuses on a 12-year-old who surfs and strums guitar but lives in a boy’s world.