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Banks makes ‘Model’ in reality TV

Producer-host expands empire through Bankable Prods.

Reality television and modeling were doing just fine in 2003, but Tyra Banks gave a boost to both when she paired them as an ensemble and sent “America’s Next Top Model” down the runway.

The skein was an early success for the fledgling UPN, and three years later it helped launch the CW network, where it remains a top performer entering its 13th cycle this month. “ANTM” also has a following around the globe, with viewers in more than 100 countries watching the American version or one of the 17 international editions.

” ‘Top Model’ has really paved the way for this format to develop,” Banks says.

The model-turned-media mogul has been expanding her reality TV empire through her Bankable Prods. shingle, which developed “Stylista” for CW and “True Beauty” for ABC. The latter will be returning for its second season in early 2010.

“I’ve carved a niche for myself for pulling back the curtain on beauty, and more so redefining the standard definitions of beauty from race, weight and now height,” Banks says. “This has become a theme across all of my projects.”

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