Net plays race card with new reality show
Matt Alvarez. Cabler execs have been developing the idea with producers since early last year (Daily Variety, April 29, 2004). Production on the untitled skein –revolving around a black family and a white family who live under one roof for six weeks — is said to have just wrapped, and FX is eyeing a 2006 premiere date. Net is said to be mulling the number of episodes. FX and Cutler declined comment. Series order arrives just weeks after ABC shelved “Welcome to the Neighborhood,” a skein that also delved into issues of race, class and other potential biases. Alphabet pulled the show just days before it was slated to premiere and has not said whether it will ever air. That skein sought to debunk stereotypes via a competition format in which six culturally and socio-economically diverse families competed for a fully furnished house by winning over the white, upper-middle class residents of an Austin, Texas, cul-de-sac. Cutler’s FX skein, like most of the documentarian’s work, is said to take a fly-on-the-wall approach, chronicling the goings-on of the mixed families from a distance. Program is the third to come out of the cabler’s alternative programming department, overseen by VP Eric Schrier, and is the third teaming of FX and Cutler. In addition to “30 Days,” producer previously developed “American Candidate” for the cabler. Production costs for that show, a reality series/talent search set in the world of politics, prevented the cabler from moving ahead with “Candidate,” which eventually relocated to Showtime. Recently concluded “30 Days,” from Cutler, Spurlock and Ben Silverman, delivered a series high of 1.4 million viewers. FX also produces the racecar reality hour “NASCAR Drivers: 360.” Cutler’s past TV credits include “American High” and “Freshman Diaries,” separate looks at adolescence in America. Cube Vision’s first TV series order, Showtime’s small-screen adaptation of “Barbershop,” premieres on Showtime Aug. 14.