MTV cues up Blighty

Music cabler looks to local fare for edge

LONDON — MTV Networks Intl. is beefing up U.K. production with its first development slate, hoping to gain a regional competitive edge in a crowded market.

The shows, which MTV declined to put a value on, amount to more than 27 hours of material. Included are international versions of established hits “Cribs” and “Dismissed” plus other new celebrity-focused programming.

Offerings include “Blag!,” an eight-part skein helmed by veteran Brit thesp Lesley Phillips, showing how to crash a movie premiere or a rock star party. Skein is one of five new series that MTV hopes will give it another breakout hit on the scale of “The Osbournes.”

“Breaking Point” is a 12-part behind-the-scenes look at how rock acts land that first break, produced by Money Prods. and made in collaboration with Island Records.

There’ll be a new eight-part batch of cult show “Dirty Sanchez,” which has transferred to U.K. terrestrial web Channel 4.

In addition, MTV Networks Intl. is investing in six pilots. They include reality show “Baad Daads and Phat Mums,” in which teens coach their parents to become their favorite stars, and “Meet & Eat,” a new twist on cookery shows in which MTV viewers prepare dinner for a celeb.

“This dynamic new slate reinforces our commitment to offering MTV viewers across the globe programming that appeals to a wide variety of tastes and interests,” said Brent Hansen, president of creative, MTV Networks Intl.

Hansen said the slate reflected a need to develop shows to supplement the outfit’s U.S.-produced fare, but there would be no pressure on other parts of the MTV empire to take the programs.

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