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‘Star’ hazing hits VH1

Cable network retools Brit spoof for U.S.

In a sign of its growing focus on celeb culture, VH1 is developing a U.S. version of British celebrity-spoof show “Star Stories.”

Sketch-comedy show will send up the foibles of the famous, targeting a different celeb or celeb couple in each half-hour episode.

Net has ordered a cast-contingent pilot for the series, which will be loosely based on the original airing on the U.K.’s Channel 4.

Comedy duo Men of Science (David Rosen and Cheryl Van Ooyen) are aboard to write and direct the pilot. RDF USA division Pangea and All3Media’s newly acquired Objective Prods., which produce the U.K. edition, are producing. Objective’s Andrew O’Connor and RDF USA’s Chris Coelen exec produce. Pangea’s Karrie Wolfe and Brian Lenard will produce. In the U.K. version, a celeb is lampooned by the troupe in various sketches, with one comic playing the celeb and other comics, or “celebrities,” popping up throughout the episode.

In one episode of the Brit skein, Guy Ritchie and Madonna are sent up via sketches shot like a Guy Ritchie film. Another episode, titled “Simon Cowell: My Honesty, My Genius,” riffs on the notorious “American Idol” judge.

Show drew the new comedy nod at the British Comedy Awards last year.

The U.S. edition would feature its own troupe, for which casting is under way. The title could yet be changed for the VH1 program.

Having ridden the celeb-reality trend, VH1 is now more intent on capitalizing on current celebrities; “Star” moves VH1 closer to the programming realm of E!, which mixes comedy and celeb news on shows like “Talk Soup” and new latenight gabber “Chelsea Lately.”

In addition to “Star,” VH1 last month ordered a set of humorous specials from Perez Hilton, titled “What Perez Sez,” in which the blogger will turn out to red carpets to report on and jaw with celebs.

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