'Idol' judge taps mag for online series
Jennifer Lopez is turning to Tiger Beat to earn her stripes in the digital arena.The “American Idol” judge’s shingle, Nuyorican Prods., is venturing beyond TV and film for the first time to feature the classic magazine brand in an original online series. “Tiger Beat Entertainment” will bow next year on AOL and its recently relaunched teen-targeted hub, Cambio. “Tiger” is a entertainment newsmagazine for tweens that will focus on young-skewing celebrities and more with the wholesome tone readers have come to expect from the Tiger Beat brand since the 1960s. “Jennifer and I wanted to create something for kids that wouldn’t be salacious,” said Simon Fields, who oversees Nuyorican with Lopez. “Digital is an exciting new field with fantastic opportunities for the right property. “Believe Entertainment Group will function as the studio behind “Tiger,” financing the project as well as working with AOL on distribution and ad sales. The New York-based firm has built up a track record of bringing top talent to the digital space, including LeBron James and an upcoming project with DJ Tiesto, called “In the Booth.” Dan Goodman, co-founder of Believe, hopes to leverage the combined brand strength of Lopez and Tiger Beat, which continues to operate as a pinup-populated magazine under the control of Laufer Media, a family business led by Scott Laufer, the son of the brand’s creator. “We want to take some of the sensibility they’ve established in the space and take it to a digital platform,” said Goodman, who runs Believe with co-founder Bill Masterson. AOL recently relaunched Cambio as a destination for young Internet users with upcoming programming on the way from Mark Burnett Prods. and Warner Bros. Digital Distribution.The production will look to leverage Lopez’s robust online following, which totals over 9 millions fans between Facebook and Twitter alone. Lopez will take an active role in developing “Tiger,” which could extend to an occasional role on screen but not as host. She and Fields have plenty more projects brewing including an ABC drama with “Ugly Betty” executive producer Silvio Horta and an unscripted music-competition “Q’Viva.” Lopez and Nuyorican Prods. are repped by UTA and Hirsch Wallerstein.