Sound check at VH1

Cabler cues a reality slate

VH1 has greenlit six primetime firstrun series for the first quarter, all reality shows dealing with music celebrities ranging from Queen Latifah and Jeff Timmons to Irv Gotti and Cisco Adler.

“This is an unprecedented two- or three-month period where a bunch of pilots we had in development are all coming together as series,” said Brian Graden, president of entertainment for the music group of MTV Networks.

VH1 is coming off a strong third quarter in the primetime Nielsens, growing by double digits in total viewers and in the three key demographic categories.

On the docket:

  •  The Gotti project, still untitled, will follow the music-industry entrepreneur as he tries to make a comeback with the Inc label after three years under investigation by the federal government; he was finally acquitted of money laundering and conspiracy charges. n  “Man Band” is the name of the Timmons series, which focuses on an attempt to herd five former performers in boy bands under one roof and whip them into a new pop group. Four of the five have signed up: Bryan Abrams of Color Me Badd, Rich Cronin of LFO, Chris Kirkpatrick of ‘NSync and Timmons of 98 Degrees.

  •  In a tribute to the Beastie Boys and Eminem, “Ego Trip’s White Rapper Show” represents a talent search for the next high-visibility white rapper. Hosted by Michael “MC Serch” Berrin, and set in the South Bronx, the series features 10 contestants from all over the country who undergo a series of challenges.

  •  Malibu rocker Adler is the subject of an untitled series about his dysfunctional band Whitestarr, which has yet to make any waves in the industry although it has a following among teenage girls.

  •  “Bridging the Gap” is a limited series that brings together two performers who talk about their lives and music as they record a track under the supervision of a top album producer. The opener features Latifah and Eve.

  •  The pilot of “Rags to Riches,” which previously ran on VH1 featuring Snoop Dogg, will go to series.
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