Hip-hop star Nelly is pacting with “The Biggest Loser” producer 25/7 Prods. to take a stab at the variety TV genre.
“Nelly’s Night in Vegas” is currently being pitched to networks as a weekly series that would feature Nelly performing and interacting with celebs; 25/7’s Dave Broome is set to exec produce along with Nelly and “The Daily Show” co-creator Madeleine Smithberg.
“I was thinking about what was missing on TV, and when this idea came about, it made sense for me,” said Nelly — real name Cornell Iral Haynes Jr. “We do have talkshows, but no one’s speaking from the pop culture perspective. Let’s get a little more pop, a little more edge, a little bit younger, and not look like you’re sitting in the principal’s office. As a performer, that’s the type of show you look forward to going on.”
Broome said the producers have already sealed a deal with Planet Hollywood to shoot the weekly show at its Las Vegas hotel; 25/7 is also in conversations with other sponsors about potential pacts.
Show would look like a talkshow-variety hybrid, Broome said, with a sidekick and house band, as well as guests and performances. Because it will shoot in Vegas, there may also be an in-studio gaming element.
Nelly has sold more than 20 million albums throughout his career and has picked up several Grammy Awards. As an actor, Nelly appeared in feature “The Longest Yard” and in a multiepisode arc on CBS’ “CSI: NY.”
Broome’s 25/7 also produced the special “Tsunami Aid,” which featured a perf by Nelly. Smithberg’s background, meanwhile, also includes the variety/talent show “Steve Harvey’s Big Time.”
Nelly reps the latest star to dabble in reviving the variety genre; CBS is working on a variety special starring musician John Mayer, while Fox is set to launch a show this spring starring the Osbournes.