WB orders up another round of ‘Geek’ love

Frog signs on Kutcher's skein for second season

The Frog is giving “Beauty and the Geek” a big kiss, ordering a second season of the Ashton Kutcher-produced reality hit.

Early greenlight by WB Entertainment prexy David Janollari comes less than a month after the skein bowed to strong numbers. Since then, “Beauty” — produced by Fox 21, Katalyst Films and 3 Ball Prods. — has picked up young adult viewers in every airing.

Skein — the first show greenlit by Janollari after he arrived at the WB last summer — will expand to eight episodes for its second season, up from its original six-seg order. Net has also greenlit a reunion show featuring the season one cast of “Beauty”; it will air July 13.

Janollari said buzz on “Beauty” was growing each week.

“It has a couple of things going for it,” Janollari said. “It’s a combination of comedy, competition, poignancy and heart, and the fact that it’s a unique idea.”

Katalyst’s Jason Goldberg said producers had “already received thousands of letters from people wanting to be on the next one,” adding the show’s success proved “viewers were ready for a change in (the reality) sector.”

“Beauty” is Fox 21’s first series renewal, and shingle topper Jane Francis said the skein has the sensibilities the company is looking for in its reality projects. It’s “different, unique, funny, but with heart,” she said.

Last Wednesday’s “Geek” won its timeslot in adults 18-34 and viewers 12-34, two of the WB’s key demos. It also impressed among adults 18-49, beating out competish on CBS, NBC, Fox and UPN.

Kutcher, Goldberg, Nick Santora, J.D. Roth, Todd A. Nelson and John Foy are the exec producers. “Beauty” is For 3 Ball’s second unscripted hit this year: Company also produces, with Ben Silverman, NBC’s “The Biggest Loser.”

“Beauty” joins ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,” Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen” and CBS’s “Fire Me … Please” as standouts in what has been a surprisingly strong summer for unscripted skeins.

(Michael Schneider contributed to this report.)

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