Musicians sign up for reality competition
Discovery Networks’ eco-centric Planet Green has signed Chris “Ludacris” Bridges and Tommy Lee for “Battleground Earth,” a reality competition that marks the soon-to-launch cabler’s most ambitious original production yet.The Greif Co., which produces A&E’s “Gene Simmons Family Jewels,” is behind “Battleground.” Ten-episode series is expected to begin lensing in the next few weeks for a late July or early August premiere; Planet Green debuts in 50 million homes on June 4. In addition to “Battleground,” Bridges will be busy on a feature set this summer. He’s just been cast in Fox’s “Max Payne” alongside Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis and Beau Bridges. As for “Battleground,” skein will feature Bridges and Lee criss-crossing the country competing in various challenges designed to highlight green issues. Skein will culminate with the two artists converging in Los Angeles to co-headline a concert at the Greek Theater with proceeds benefiting Griffith Park. “Battleground” will be exec produced by Leslie Greif and Adam Reed with Steve Jones as co-exec producer. Howard Lee and Lisa Caruso also exec produce. Planet Green prexy-general manager Eileen O’Neill said “Battleground” is designed to emphasize entertainment over eco-preaching. “It’s big, bold entertainment that would fit in great” on cablers such as VH1 or Bravo,” she told Daily Variety. If the show is successful, O’Neill said she envisions other celebs participating in the “Battleground” format. Planet Green has already announced several skeins, including a gabber hosted by Tom Bergeron, an Emeril Lagasse showcase and a series devoted to green renovations. Cabler — which replaces Discovery Home — will launch with 200 hours of original programming, more of which will be unveiled this week. O’Neill said Hollywood’s longtime fervor for green issues has made it easier to attract talent to projects. “These are people who have been dedicated to this space for some time,” she said. “They’re excited to have a green megaphone.” As for Bridges, musician-thesp will be seen next in “Ball Don’t Lie,” which bows at Tribeca. He’s also set to appear in the Guy Ritchie pic “RocknRolla,” expected in October. Lee is on tour with partner DJ Aero.