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TLC, Court TV and Trio unveil frosh shows

A TLC reality series that will make over entire small towns, a Court TV program investigating the excessive lifestyles of young millionaires and Trio’s first original comedy series were some of the shows unveiled at the TV Critics Assn. press tour Thursday.

“Town Haul” is the title of the six-part TLC show, set to premiere early in 2005 “Trading Spaces” designer Genevieve Gorder will host the show, turning a team of designers and carpenters loose on Jeffersonville, N.Y. (population 500), where they’ll join the townspeople to transform the entire community under the rubric “Nothing is off-limits.” Swiffer and Home Depot will help sponsor the series, exec produced by Glenda Hersch and Steven Weinstock for True Entertainment and Terri Johnson for TLC.

TLC sister network Discovery said it has renewed “American Casino” for 18 more episodes. Production will begin immediately at the family-owned Green Valley Ranch casino-resort in Las Vegas. Exec producer is Craig Piligian, who also produces Discovery’s biggest series hit “American Chopper.”

Homing in

Two other TLC skeins are in the works for 2005: the 10-episode “Moving Up,” hosted by Doug Wilson, focusing on changes that families make when they move into houses they’ve just bought, and “Property Ladder,” which follows “amateur property developers as they buy, renovate, decorate and resell houses to make the maximum profit.”

The Court TV investigative series “High Stakes With Ben Mezrich” focuses on after-hours clubs, gambling parlors and other destinations to which wealthy young people gravitate. Mezrich is the author of the bestseller “Bringing Down the House,” about MIT students who got involved in the seedy underworld of corporate gaming, and of the current tome “Ugly Americans: The True Story of the Ivy League Cowboys Who Raided the Asian Market for Millions.”

“Russell Simmons Presents: Hip-Hop Justice” is the first of a planned series of specials for Court TV about the headline-making clashes between the cops and performers like Tupac Shakur.

Trio’s original comedy “Pilot Season” consists of six improvisational half-hours featuring Sarah Silverman, David Cross and Andy Dick. Directed and co-written by Sam Seder, show is a satire of the TV business. Seder is co-exec producer with Charles Fisher.

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