Bravo, Ben Silverman and the exec producers of “Big Brother” are betting on “Blow Out,” a new reality skein that’s a cross between “The Restaurant” and “Shampoo.”
Jeff Gaspin-led cabler has greenlit six episodes of “Blow Out,” which borrows the upstart-business format of Silverman and Mark Burnett’s “The Restaurant” and sets it in the world of a Beverly Hills salon to be launched by star stylist Jonathan Antin.
Silverman’s U-based Reveille shingle and ad giant Magna Global Entertainment, who partnered on “The Restaurant,” will produce.
“Big Brother” exec producers Arnold Shapiro and Allison Grodner will exec produce and showrun “Blow Out,” with Silverman also exec producing. Co-exec producers are Mark Koops, H.T. Owens and Rob Lee.
Like its restaurant-based sister skein, “Blow Out” will chronicle the opening and maintenance of a new business — in this case, a salon — but with added emphasis on the stories of its customers. Look for product placement as well, with advertisers footing the bill for most of the cost of production, as was the case with the original “Restaurant.”
Show will follow Melrose salon stylist Antin, whose clientele includes Madonna, Kirsten Dunst and Alicia Silverstone, as he works to finance and establish the Jonathan Salon: Beverly Hills. Storylines will include help from his mother, a stylist and designer.
Themes of grooming and mini makeovers make “Blow Out” a likely companion for Bravo hit “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” though Bravo prexy/NBC reality chief Gaspin says he plans to create a second destination night outside of “Queer Eye” Tuesdays. Skein is expected to bow early this summer.
Silverman noted that the UK has already had success with salon-based docusoaps.
“Well before I launched ‘The Restaurant,’ I really believed this idea could create a new format for TV,” he said. “I knew I had a home-run show when I met Jonathan.”
Gaspin agreed that Antin would be the show’s star, just like Rocco on “The Restaurant.”
“He’s a little irreverent, a bit of a maverick. He definitely has his own style,” Gaspin said. “Ben really scoured the globe to find someone right.”
Gaspin said “Blow Out” fit his mandate for Bravo, which is to launch offbeat programming.
“I want Bravo to have shows you just don’t see everywhere else,” he explained. “I want Bravo to take things that are somewhat trendy and bring them to the mainstream.”
Silverman said that “Blow Out” could have “even greater” storytelling potential than “The Restaurant,” particularly with the makeover aspect of the show.
“You could (do makeovers tied to) the day before a bride’s wedding day, three girls getting ready for a prom, women who are waiting for their husbands to get back from Iraq,” he said.
What’s more, “it’s a very intimate environment in a salon,” he said. “People who work in these salons, gay or straight, can be so physical and sexual, it’s amazing.”
Series is the latest reality show to revolve around a salon.
Fox TV Studios is developing “Making the Cut,” a cross between “The Restaurant” and “American Idol” with Redken aboard to sponsor. And Discovery Channel will follow the familial operations behind a Savannah-based salon in “American Beauty Shop.”
In addition to “Big Brother 5” and “Blow Out,” CAA-repped Shapiro and Grodner are readying the launch of the second season of “Family Business,” which bows Jan. 30 at 11 p.m. on Showtime.
Silverman was repped in the deal by Jeanne Newman and Craig Jacobson.