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Star is porn on reality TV

Show's focus to be on Vivid exec Hirsch

World of Wonder Prods. (“The Eyes of Tammy Faye”) is prepping a Vivid look at the porn biz via a new reality skein already sold to Britain’s SkyTV and Channel Four.

Exec producer-helmers Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato of WOW have pacted with leading adult pic factory Vivid Entertainment Group on the 13 half-hour episode documentary-style project, which Bailey says will “reveal the other Hollywood, the flip side of the Hollywood Sign” but without the “high moral indignation” normally found in network-produced news reports on the porn biz.

Skein’s central focus will be on Vivid co-founder/co-chairman Steven Hirsch, whose company operates an old-style Hollywood star system using so-called Vivid Girls — porn thesps such as Jenna Jameson under exclusive contract to the studio. There will also be segments devoted to the actors who work for the company and how porn has impacted their lives, as well as the selection of one new Vivid Girl.

“This will be a fly-on-the-wall look at how the most successful company in the industry actually operates,” said Barbato.

Sky has locked up the first U.K. window on the skein, which has begun pre-production and could premiere by year’s end, Bailey said. Channel Four has the terrestrial window, and WOW’s reps at WMA will work with Bailey and Barbato to find a U.S. buyer in the next few weeks.

Vivid has granted wide access to Hirsch, most of its stars and the selection process used to find new talent. While company stands to gain new customers via exposure on a U.S. network, it won’t have any editorial control.

“This is not an infomerical for the adult entertainment business,” Bailey said. “We’re showing the world how it exists: Not just black and white, but all the shades in between. There are going to be funny moments, heartbreaking moments and some mundane business. There’s a big contrast between people’s imaginations and what really goes on.”

Hirsch said he’s looking forward to the, um, exposure.

“I’m a bit reticent (about granting access), but I’m up for it,” he said. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for the company and for people to show how we treat the girls and how everything works. People for so long have had one view of the business, but I think once they get inside and see the reality of it, they’ll be more comfortable (with porn).”

Untitled skein will be produced using U.K. broadcast standards, which allow for some frontal nudity and foul language. U.S. version will then be edited to fit the standards of whatever Stateside net orders the series, with a cable web the most likely buyer.

The adult film biz has already been examined by reality producers, with Showtime recently greenlighting a second season of Arnold Shapiro and Allison Grodner’s “Family Business.” And Fox is already generating buzz with “Skin,” an hourlong family drama set against the backdrop of the porn biz.

“People are interested in the adult film industry,” Hirsch said, adding his belief that the WOW production will offer the most complete look at the biz.

“In ‘Skin’ it’s fictionalized, in (‘Family Business’) it’s all about one individual,” he said. “Vivid is probably the best representative example of the adult industry.”

Docu drama

Bailey thinks public acceptance of porn hasn’t been as wide as it is right now since the days of “Deep Throat,” the landmark 1972 pic about which Imagine’s Brian Grazer is producing a documentary with Bailey and Barbato (Daily Variety, Jan. 14.)

“The taboo and the shame surrounding porn seems to be falling away,” he said. “Right now the adult business is at the crossroads of the mainstream in a way it hasn’t been since 1972. And when you think about it, the current craze for reality shows is sort a craze for public nakedness. So it makes sense to look at the business of nakedness.”

Bailey and Barbato have examined adult films before, producing the acclaimed Brit doc “Pornography: The Secret History of Civilization” for Channel 4. Duo recently made their feature debuts directing Macaulay Culkin in this fall’s “Party Monster.”

Other credits include HBO’s “Monica in Black and White,” VH1’s late “RuPaul Show” and Trio’s buzzworthy new skein “Good Clean Porn,” which serves up sexless versions of porn classics.