Katalyst sets CW projects

Kutcher's shingle to develop 'Life,' 'Chloe'

Ashton Kutcher is back at the CW, where his Katalyst Films shingle is developing two projects.

The Katalyst slate includes “The Beautiful Life,” which revolves around young models in New York City; and the one-hour “Chloe Gamble,” based on the upcoming book “The One.”

Both shows are through CBS Paramount Network TV, where Katalyst is in the midst of an overall deal for scripted television.

“Our goal this year was to deliver for the home team,” said Katalyst partner Karey Burke. “We’re in our second year of our deal at CBS Paramount, and we want to deliver for CBS and the CW. We were especially interested in developing dramas for the CW. … So we set out to find some high-profile projects that we could deliver, and sold two back to back within a week of each other.”

“The Beautiful Life” centers on male and female models who live together in New York. Ensemble drama will center on Christopher, a 22-year-old “destined for the JC Penney catalog,” and 15-year-old Reyna, “destined to become the next Heidi Klum.”

Drama is based on the experiences of scribe Adam Giaudrone, who was an aspiring model before turning to writing. Project could be an obvious companion to the CW’s long-running “America’s Next Top Model.”

But where “Top Model” mostly centers on the glamour inside the biz, “The Beautiful Life” will look at the darker side of the modeling industry.

“The script exposes the side of it that’s kind of awful, and yet so unbelievably alluring,” Burke said.

Kutcher is also, famously, a former model — and although “Beautiful Life” is based on Giaudrone’s experiences, the Katalyst principal is already offering up his stories for the project.

Carol Barbee (“Jericho”) will exec produce, along with Katalyst’s Kutcher, Burke and Jason Goldberg. Giaudrone will serve as supervising producer.

“Chloe Gamble” focuses on a Texas girl who, beauty queen trophies in hand, moves to Hollywood with her mother and twin brother in the hopes of achieving stardom.

Ed Decter and John Strauss (“There’s Something About Mary”) are onboard to write and exec produce “Chloe,” which is based on a series of young adult books Decter is penning for Simon Pulse. The first entry, “The One,” comes out in March.

Project is told from the p.o.v. of the future, when it’s apparent that things didn’t turn out so well for Chloe.

“There’s a whole Web component, a whole UGC component as well,” Burke said. “We may even cast Chloe over the Web.”

Katalyst’s film side is already developing a feature version of Decter’s previous series of young adult books, “The Outriders,” also with Decter and Strauss.

Katalyst most recently produced the reality competish “Beauty and the Geek” for the CW, and before that, the WB. Project, which is being retooled into a celebrity edition, is expected to move to MTV for its next cycle.

Shingle will next launch the ABC skein “True Beauty,” a collaboration with Tyra Banks. Katalyst also has scripted development at CBS, NBC and Fox in the works.

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