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VH1 ‘Music’ maker pacts with BGTV

Rosenthal issues reality check

Veteran reality producer Gay Rosenthal, the co-creator of VH1’s stunningly successful “Behind the Music” rockumentary skein, has inked an overall high six-figure development deal with BGTV, the television arm of Brillstein-Grey Entertainment.

As part of the two-year pact brokered by UTA, Rosenthal will develop both reality-based and scripted series and specs for BGTV under her Gay Rosenthal Prods. banner. Shows will be developed for both network and cable outlets.

Pact reps the first time BGTV has done an overall deal with a reality producer.

“I’ve had an almost bizarre addiction to ‘Behind the Music’ since it debuted,” BGTV topper Kevin Reilly told Daily Variety. “Since we’ve already jumped into some new business with Gay, I know her future series will be equally as compelling.”

At least two other studios, as well as VH1 parent Viacom, went after the GRP deal, according to industry insiders. The success of “Behind the Music” and other video biography skeins has made experienced producers of such product hot commodities.

Rosenthal co-created and developed the concept for “Behind the Music” with VH1’s inhouse programming team in 1997, producing the pilot hour on Milli Vanilli, as well as dozens of other hours on artists such as Bette Midler, Blondie, Madonna, Heart, John Mellencamp and Tom Petty. She is one of three exec producers on the skein, while GRP continues to produce individual hourlong segs for the VH1 franchise.

GRP is also currently producing a two-hour original telepic for VH1 and launching the first-ever original series for cable’s TV Land. The latter project will look at the behind-the-scenes stories of various classic television shows.

Other recent Rosenthal productions have included several installments of VH1’s “Intimate Portrait” series, ABC’s “Sex With Cindy Crawford” spec and InStyle magazine’s first TV spec, “Celebrity Weddings InStyle.”