Hip-hop panel to judge reality competition

MTV is close to a development deal for “Rapping With the Stars,” a reality competition show that will pair celebs with hip-hop pros.

Project features teams squaring off in range of rap-oriented musical challenges. A hip-hop world panel will judge.

Deal is being negotiated with Giuliana DePandi from E! as well as Kimber Rickabaugh and Paul Miller from RickMill Prods and 3Arts.

“Rapping” is being overseen by Tony DiSanto, who was recently upped to oversee much of the net’s original programming in wake of Lois Curren scaling back her responsibilities.

With “Rapping,” MTV is looking to capitalize on its music niche by crossbreeding it with its nonscripted focus.

The pro-am format has been a hit on ABC, which has scored strong ratings for “Dancing with the Stars.” But the concept doesn’t always work, as Fox found out last year with its ill-fated “Singing With Celebrities.”

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