Pop star, hubby topline UPN show
Britney Spears is turning the tables on the tabloids.In a bid to offer another take on her much-documented love life, the pop superstar and hubby Kevin Federline will topline their own unscripted series on UPN. After fierce competish from several other outlets, net has snapped up six episodes of the as-yet-untitled skein, which will document the story of the Spears-Federline courtship, engagement and wedding. UPN is wasting no time putting the series together, planning to premiere the skein before the current season ends next month. “From the day that Kevin and I met, there have been constant rumors and inaccurate speculation about our lives together,” Spears said. “I feel that last year the tabloids ran my life and I am really excited about showing my fans what really happened rather than all the stories, which have been misconstrued by journalists in the past. As I mentioned before, I am now going to be expressing my personal life through art.” UPN Entertainment prexy Dawn Ostroff said the skein will give Spears and Federline the chance to “tell their love story their way.” Indeed, the bulk of the show will consist of video footage shot by Spears and Federline themselves, with UPN adding in some new commentaries and follow-up footage. The Grammy-winning singer and her new husband will essentially “host” the series, walking viewers through the story of their relationship. “They’ll tell viewers, ‘This is when we first met’ or ‘This is when we started dating,’ ” Ostroff said. Duo documented their European tour, preparations for their wedding and the wedding day itself. Skein will consist of five half-hour episodes and an hourlong finale focusing on the wedding day. An outside producer will be brought in to help edit the footage into a series, but Spears and Federline will take exec producer credits on the finished product. In a bit of corporate cooperation between different parts of the Viacom empire, one of the MTV Music Group Channels — MTV, VH1 or both — will rerun the most recent episode of the skein not long after UPN’s initial broadcast. MTV or VH1 will also air a five-episode marathon. “The competition for the show was pretty heated, and we were able to reach out to MTV Networks and put together a deal,” Ostroff said. MTV will foot part of the deal for its second window on the skein, which was packaged by ICM. Ostroff said Spears “is someone who appeals to (UPN’s) audience, the young female demographic that’s been following her career and personal story” for the last few years. While Spears and Federline shot most of the skein themselves, Ostroff said the show will not seem like a video press release. “I don’t think there’s anything sugarcoated about this,” said Ostroff, who’s already seen a significant amount of footage. “It’s pretty raw and pretty real. I don’t think (viewers) have ever been exposed to people being so honest and open about their lives.” Ostroff said the story of Spears and Federline is so compelling that “even if it were a fictitious story, it would be interesting. The fact that it’s about one of the biggest stars out there makes it all the more fascinating.” Federline said the show will speak for itself. “It is a documentation of love,” he said. No premiere date has been locked in, but Ostroff did say the goal is to get the show on sometime during the May sweeps. It’s likely some episodes, including the finale, will air after the official May 25 end of the 2004-05 season.