'Catfish' one of four reality shows, also two scripted skeins
MTV has greenlit four unscripted series and two laffers in wide-ranging projects, a major programming push for the young-skewing net.On the reality side, cabler is transforming the feature film “Catfish” into a series (Daily Variety, March 31). Show comes from the producers of the theatrical docu, including Nev Schulman, who will examine what happens when online friends finally meet in person. Relativity Real will produce. “Hoods” follows one celebrity each week in a return to their hometown. Pilot episode will feature singer Kesha going back to Nashville. Moving to a sports-themed show, “Wait Till Next Year” examines a perennially losing high school football team that’s searching for their first win after a 43-game, five-year losing streak. “Wake Brothers” looks at wakeboarding brothers Philip and Bob Soven and how they compete — both professionally and personally — with one another. On the scripted side, Craig Wright is penning “Underemployed.” Skein captures the angst college graduates sometimes face upon leaving school and the often-difficult time they have finding their place in the world, occasionally having to take dead-end jobs to make ends meet. Series stars Jared Kusnitz and Inbar Lavi. Finally, “Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous” stars comic Bo Burnham as a person who leaves school and hires a documentary film crew to help him pursue the new American Dream: becoming famous with no apparent talent whatsoever. “These shows are different and unique from each other, but they co-exist in speaking to a millennial audience,” programming topper David Janollari told Variety. “It proves that scripted, reality and, sometime in the future, animation can live harmoniously on the channel.” Series look to tap into the 18-24 demo sweet spot, an age group that has come to the cabler in record numbers for “Jersey Shore.” Net is currently having success with the first season of “Awkward” and is readying for a January premiere of “I Just Want My Pants Back.” Not all shows have been hits, of course. “Skins” was pulled after one season, and “The Hard Times of RJ Berger” was recently given its walking papers.