Music net takes ‘Surreal’ turn

Reality skein's next season to feature musicians

HOLLYWOOD — “The Surreal Life” has found a new home on VH1.

Cable music net is teaming with series producers Mark Cronin and Cris Abrego to produce a third season of the show under the duo’s Mindless Entertainment banner, ordering 10 episodes set to premiere during the third quarter. The first two seasons of the skein aired on the WB.

Reflecting the show’s new home at the music channel, Cronin said the third season of “Surreal Life” would revolve around a music-centric house, and feature musicians from genres ranging from rap to heavy metal to country. Casting is under way.

Second season of “Surreal Live” —- a sort of “The Real World” for B-list celebs — achieved record ratings for the WB, but webheads and producers ultimately wanted the show to move in different directions for the third season.

“The WB has been great to us, but the truth is they were always concerned that the show didn’t have a winner or something that built to a final moment,” Cronin said. “The truth is the show is a little bit more like “The Osbournes” — we cast as if it were a sitcom so the characters bond. Making it more of a competition doesn’t work in that respect.”

“We’ve been fans of “The Surreal Life” since the first episode and couldn’t be more thrilled that the series is coming to VH1,” said MTV/VH1 topper Brian Graden. “The show has already proven to have all the unique elements of a winning pop culture experiment — great storytelling with iconic personalities and lots of surprises.”

First two seasons of the skein featured such personalities as Gabrielle Carteris, M.C. Hammer, Corey Feldman, Traci Bingham, Ron Jeremy, Tammy Faye Baker and Vanilla Ice.

In addition, VH1 has greenlit the 10-part series “I Love the ’90s,” the third decade to be covered in the franchise, for summer.

Cabler has also ordered new seasons of “Bands Reunited,” “Best Week Ever,” “Driven,” “Fab Life,” “VH1 ILL-ustrated” and a new edition of “Inside/OUT” with Dave Matthews and Trey Anastasio of Phish.

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