MTV grooming Combs

P. Diddy sets prod'n pact with net

In a first-of-its-kind pact, MTV has signed hip-hop icon Sean “P. Diddy” Combs to a first-look production deal.

Under terms of the yearlong agreement, Combs will develop and exec produce projects for the music net via his Bad Boys Entertainment banner. He will also consult on other shows and appear on future MTV-branded programming.

Combs, who stars in and exec produces “Making of the Band,” has already set up a pair of pilots at the cabler. Under consideration is “Borrow My Crew,” which MTV test-aired earlier this month. Show revolves around a celebrity who loans out his or her entourage to a fan for a day of pampering.

In addition, execs just screened a presentation for potential series “Run’s House,” on the suburban home life of rapper Run (Joseph Simmons) of Run DMC.

MTV Networks Music Group entertainment prexy Brian Graden said that with MTV becoming an increasingly celeb-centered destination for teens, similar talent-driven deals will be forthcoming.

“We’re producing so much TV now that any time we find a reliable and aggressive partner, we want to go for it and make sure they stay in the family,” Graden said. “But we’re being selective about it. This is a rather new phenomenon — we were not a star-based network four or five years ago. We were more focused on shows like ‘TRL’ and ‘Say What Karaoke?’ ”

MTV’s got a deal in place with Ashton Kutcher’s Katalyst, but shingle’s got a larger two-year overall deal with 20th Century Fox Television. Pact has yielded Katalyst-produced reality skein “My New Best Friend” and several pilots for the music net, in addition to long-running hit show “Punk’d.”

“As we continue to find success with people like the Osbournes and the Simpsons, we’re open to extending those relationships when they make sense,” Graden said. “Sean very much wants to be a producer, and we want to be in business with him as he begins to establish and express himself in that arena.”

Exec added that Combs has been in the MTV family for so long — via his musicvideos, awards show appearances, etc. — that the deal simply formalizes “our expectations for him to provide the network with different and intriguing programming.”

For MTV, Combs just wrapped the third season of “Making the Band,” about his attempts to create an all-girl hip-hop group. Second season revolved around the making of a co-ed band, which eventually split up. He was also a key spokesman for MTV’s “Vote or Die” and “Choose or Love” campaigns, aimed at getting young people to vote.

Combs is working on an untitled urban heist project at Paramount-based MTV Films. His Bad Boy Entertainment encompasses a broad range of businesses including recording, music publishing, artist management, television and film production, recording facility, marketing and advertising, apparel and restaurants.

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