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Joffe, MTV get ‘Undressed’

Series is cabler's most costly

NEW YORK — He’s tackled the Cambodian crisis in “The Killing Fields.” He’s addressed religious persecution in “The Mission.” And now Roland Joffe is ready to explore the thought-provoking, rarely explored topic of people getting ready for bed.

Yes, Joffe is getting “Undressed” for MTV. The film director is producing a daily half-hour series that, in the words of the basic cabler, “is an intimate look at relationships and the discussions that occur” while people are getting ready to hit the hay.

The scripted, fictional series — featuring characters aged 15-28 — is the most expensive series in MTV’s history, budgeted at roughly $150,000 to $200,000 per episode. The Viacom-owned net has committed to buy 30 episodes. The series, one of three newcomers unveiled by the cabler on Wednesday, will premiere July 19 and run each weeknight at 11.

The show will offer three couples, with new characters to be introduced periodically. MTV executive VP of programming Brian Graden described “Undressed” as a combination of a soap opera and an anthology series.

Presumably, the content will go deeper than toothpaste-squeezing, alarm-setting, pajama-laundering and mattress-rotation, since Graden told Daily Variety, “Roland is fascinated by the small, defining moments in people’s lives and relationships. All truths are revealed to people in the smallest moments.”

“Undressed” will be shot on film with a single camera.

Skein game

MTV also announced that it will add two additional series to its “10 Spot” lineup (i.e., series airing after 10 p.m.) this summer: “Making the Video” and “Downtown.”

Beginning in June, MTV will also preem new episodes of other “10 Spot” shows: “Real World,” Road Rules,” and “BIOrhythm.”

The animated “Downtown” will base its scripts on actual events of teens and twentysomethings recorded by the show’s producers in New York’s East Village, where the show is set.

Produced by MTV’s animation division, “Downtown” will premiere on Aug. 3 at 10:30 p.m.

“Making the Video,” a weekly half-hour series, will give viewers an inside look at how a musicvideo is made. Artists will include Britney Spears and Busta Rhymes. The series will premiere on June 28 at 10:30 p.m.

The first of 22 episodes of “Real World Hawaii” will bow June 15 at 10 p.m.; “Road Rules: Semester at Sea” will launch at 10 p.m. on June 21. The next evening marks the first of six new segs of “BIOrhythm.”

Graden added that MTV signed its deal with Joffe in late 1998 and the director produced a pilot earlier this year.

Joffe most recently directed “Goodbye Lover.” The William Morris Agency brokered the deal for Joffe.