Friday, March 14, 2008

MTV preps Paris Hilton reality series

Paris Hilton
The high-profile hotel heiress, who parlayed sex-tape notoriety into A-list celebrity with The Simple Life on Fox, will appear in a 10-episode series tentatively titled Paris Hilton’s My New BFF.

In the new reality show, 20 contestants will live in a house and compete for the chance to learn how to live the celebrity life from Ms. Hilton. Viewers will be able to vote on potential contestants via a Web site

Production is set to begin in May, with the series scheduled to air in the fourth quarter.

MTV’s ratings have been on the rise on the strength of semi-reality shows such as The Hills and competition shows such as Making the Band, A Shot at Love With Tila Tequila and Randy Jackson’s America’s Best Dance Crew.

The network thinks its latest addition will bring more heat to the channel, which once was in danger of becoming passé with young viewers.

Ms. Hilton, whose show moved from Fox to cable’s E! before it was canceled last year, became the subject of almost constant reporting after a series of traffic incidents led to her being jailed in Los Angeles last year. The coverage was so over-the-top that some news organizations declared a moratorium on publishing stories about her.

“It’s undeniable that the world is always talking about Paris Hilton, and the same could be said about MTV,” said Brian Graden, president of entertainment at MTV Networks Music Channels. “Paris is one of the most searched icons on the Web and has been the focus of everyone’s attention from TMZ to Forbes. Now MTV will reveal the life of Paris, turn her fans into friends and see what it takes to get close to one of the world’s most well-known personalities.”

The show comes from Ish Entertainment, the new production company set up by former VH1 executive Michael Hirschorn. Mr. Hirschorn and Stella Stolper will be executive producers along with Ms. Hilton.

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