Vh1 to Debut Extensive Slate of New Series, Specials and VH1 Original Movies Now in Production and Development

Apr 20, 2001, 01:00 ET from VH1

    NEW YORK, April 20 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- VH1 will debut
 an extensive slate of new series, specials and movies in upcoming months, it
 was announced today by Lauren Zalaznick, Senior Vice President, Original
 Programming & Development, VH1. The new programming includes reality-based
 shows, original dramas, animated comedy series, documentary specials, and
 full-length films from VH1 Original Movies.
     "We're continuing to take advantage of the sheer breadth that we feel
 music programming can expand to," said Zalaznick.  "And in the process we're
 attracting some of the industry's best directors, producers and artists to
 VH1."
     Slated to debut over the course of the year are the new shows "Cover War,"
 "What's My 20?," "VH1 Undercover" and "Strange Frequency," as well as the
 five-part documentary series "Say It Loud:  Black Music in America," "VH1
 Presents the '80s," and "From the Waist Down: s Men, Women & Music."
     In addition, several new music-based, full-length VH1 Original Movies
 currently in production are scheduled to debut on the network later this year
 under the "Movies That Rock" banner, including a pair of films based on the
 true stories of music superstars MC Hammer and Def Leppard, plus the romantic
 drama "When the Music Stops."
 
      New VH1 series debuting in Summer 2001:
 
     -- "Cover War" - Hosted by Paul Shaffer ("Late Show with David
        Letterman"), this weekly music show pits cover bands against each
        other, tournament-style, in three different rounds of a battle that
        tests their musical agility, accuracy and performance.  A celebrity
        panel will judge each competition -- The Human Jukebox, which tests
        each band's repertoire; Style Jam, where bands are assigned to play a
        given song in a randomly selected style, from reggae to country to
        punk; and The Song-Off, in which bands are asked questions about famous
        songs, and the bands must respond by playing the answer musically.
 
     -- "What's My 20?" - This new weekly series follows in the tradition of
        VH1's "100 Greatest Rock & Roll Moments on TV" and "100 Greatest
        Songs," counting down the twenty all-time "greatest" music videos in a
        variety of categories -- as selected by VH1 viewers, who will vote
        online for everything from their favorite power ballads to rock's most
        misinterpreted lyrics.  Hosted by the viewers themselves, each one-hour
        weekly episode features 20 memorable stories told by the artists and
        the people close to them, and also lets the viewers tell why these
        videos made their lists.
 
     -- "VH1 Undercover" - This unique, fast-paced half-hour weekly comedy
        series puts a sly spin on pop music and people, using it as the basis
        for a kaleidoscope of hidden-camera pranks, daredevil stunts, sight
        gags, funny video clips and more.
 
     -- "Strange Frequency" - Combining plot-twisting terror and dark humor
        with the mythology and allure of the rock world, this new VH1 anthology
        series debuted January 24 as a two-hour movie comprising four chilling
        tales.  Inspired by TV's classic horror anthologies, "Strange
        Frequency" gives viewers a hair-raising look at stories that cover the
        spectrum from frightening morality tales to absurd comedy, adventure
        and romance, all rooted in rock 'n' roll.  Featuring unique special
        effects, the series also spotlights some of the hottest stars from film
        and television.  Produced by Viacom Productions in association with
        Broadway Video.
 
      New VH1 pilots currently in production or development:
 
     -- "Hollywood Hills" - This reality-based show explores the nature of a
        developing artist's relationship with the music industry, following six
        diverse musicians trying to make it big, and documenting their
        professional pursuits as well as their personal lives.  A production of
        Imagine Television in association with First Television Productions;
        produced by Mack and Bradley Anderson ("Battlebots") of First
        Television Productions; executive producers are Brian Grazer, Ron
        Howard and Tony Krantz of Imagine Television ("Felicity,"
        "SportsNight").
 
     -- "Camp Chaos" - This half-hour animated sketch comedy satirizes the
        music industry, from topical music issues to pop icons to music
        television.  The show is based on the popular website Campchaos.com,
        which has millions of users downloading its razor-sharp, highly
        stylized, animated parodies of everyone from Metallica and Dr. Dre to
        Elton and Eminem.
 
     -- "Pulling the Strings" - Mega-star singer, actress, director and
        producer Barbra Streisand and James Brolin are executive producers of
        this hour-long weekly nighttime drama that takes place in a record
        company, with Brolin starring as the patriarch of an entertainment
        empire which has recently been taken over by a huge corporation.
 
     -- "Forever Young" - This scripted half-hour "dramedy" follows the lives
        of four twenty-somethings who live in a building above a nightclub in
        the '80s, featuring cameos from the decade's rock icons as a regular
        feature.  The series is produced by Third Millennium Television, the
        production company of acclaimed director/producer Mike Newell, who
        directed such big-screen favorites as "Enchanted April" and "Four
        Weddings and a Funeral," and also executive-produced "High Fidelity"
        and the Best Picture Oscar-nominated smash hit "Traffic."
 
     -- "Devil's Music" - In this drama, a devil's disciple runs a record
        company where musicians are forced to sell their soul in order to gain
        success.  This unique program draws upon such real-life rock lore as
        the "Curse of 27," wherein music's true genuises like Cobain, Joplin
        and Hendrix all coincidentally die at the age of 27.  Co-produced for
        VH1 by Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc., the production company
        behind the hit TV drama series "CSI," acclaimed feature films like "The
        Sweet Hereafter" and "Crash," and the Emmy-nominated TV movies "Joan of
        Arc" and "Nuremburg."
 
     -- "Hit Men" - KISS legend Gene Simmons and production partner Leslie
        Grief (who recently completed their first pilot, "Smash," for VH1),
        author Nicholas Pileggi ("Casino," "GoodFellas") and producer Albert S.
        Ruddy ("The Godfather") are the creative team behind this drama about
        the mob and the music biz.
 
     -- "VH1's Sessions" - Versatile talent Alexandra Wentworth ("In Living
        Color," "Jerry Maguire," author of "The WASP Cookbook") executive
        produces and stars in this half-hour comedy series, part reality/part
        scripted, as an earnest but sometimes manipulative therapist whose
        clientele includes rock stars.
 
     -- "B-Side" - In a unique twist on the traditional sitcom, this half-hour
        show will combine elements of fiction and reality in focusing on the
        adventures of a couple of wedding DJs.  Reality segments will include
        the show's characters actually "working" real special events -- like
        weddings, Sweet 16 parties and bar mitzvahs -- and interacting with the
        unsuspecting party guests.  The show is developed by comic Joe
        Materese.
 
     -- "Bands, Brawn and Blister" - This innovative hour-long show takes
        today's most popular bands, removes them from their usual musical
        environment, and places them into situations filled with physical,
        mental and emotional challenges.  In the pilot episode, host Mason
        Dragotto ("The Aquanauts") follows the members of Everclear as they
        drive cattle across the lush landscape of the Oloopalakua Ranch in Maui
        -- and finds out whether these hard rockers can survive the wilds.
 
      New VH1 Original Movies in production or development:
 
     -- "Hysteria:  The Def Leppard Story" - Debuting Wednesday, July 18 at
        9:00 p.m. (ET/PT), this true story of one of the hottest pop-metal
        bands of the '80s stars Karl Geary, Orlando Seale, Adam McDonald,
        Esteban Powell, Tat Whalley, Anthony Michael Hall and supermodel Amber
        Valletta.  After finding success at home, the British group began to
        top the U.S. charts with the help of renowned producer Mutt Lange.
        Although drug and alcohol addiction increasingly took its toll on the
        band, the party continued until drummer Rick Allen lost his left arm in
        a car accident.  Pressured to find a new drummer or face the end of the
        group, the band instead encouraged their mate to learn to play with one
        arm - and emerged to their biggest audiences ever.  Patricia Clifford
        and Viacom Productions are producing; the director is Robert Mandel
        ("F/X," "School Ties"); the writers are Carolyn Shelby & Chris Ames.
 
     -- "The MC Hammer Story" - The true story of one of the most successful
        rap artists of the '90s.  From his humble beginnings as an Oakland A's
        bat boy to his phenomenal success with the 1990 cross-over hit, "U
        Can't Touch This," MC Hammer rose to the top faster than any rap act in
        music history, but he ultimately succumbed to bankruptcy -- by 1996, he
        had completely lost his more than $30 million dollar fortune.  Produced
        by Wilshire Court Productions; the writer is John Wierick.
 
     -- "When the Music Stops" - A romantic drama set inside the world of Salsa
        dancing, focusing on an engaged photographer who begins to take dance
        lessons from a handsome young Latino instructor, and is soon forced to
        choose between his world and the safety of her own.
 
      New VH1 documentaries debuting later this year:
 
     -- "Say It Loud: s Black Music in America" - Produced by VH1 with Quincy
        Jones Media Group, Rhino Entertainment and Highway Films, this
        documentary series recounts the evolution of urban music's most
        powerful and trend-setting genres through firsthand accounts of those
        who experienced and created the history.  Covering jazz, blues, gospel,
        and hip hop through to modern R&B and Soul, the documentary chronicles
        the contributions of African American musicians like Aretha Franklin,
        Duke Ellington, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Isaac Hayes, Tina Turner,
        Prince, Tupac Shakur, Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, Robert Johnson,
        Whitney Houston, Sam Cooke, Dr. Dre, Al Green, and many others
 
     -- "VH1 Presents the '80s" - This five-part VH1 documentary series looks
        at how the world changed in those ten years - and how music helped play
        a part - by exploring the decade's biggest musical artists and styles,
        and examining how music reflected and influenced our ideas about
        politics, money, technology, fashion, the media, drugs, race and sex.
        Through interviews with the some of decade's most influential figures,
        the series will reflect on the significance of the changes that
        occurred in the eighties, and look at how the trends that started in
        the eighties dominate the culture today.
 
     -- "From the Waist Down:  sMen, Women & Music" - A series of five themed,
        non-chronological hours, this VH1 documentary special looks at how
        music and sexual attitudes have been profoundly connected, beginning
        with the genesis of rock in the '50s, straight through to the porn
        metal rap of today, tracing the sexual saturation of contemporary
        culture in the past five decades -- and taking the provocative premise
        that music has been responsible for it all.
 
     VH1 produces and programs a wide variety of music-based series, specials,
 live events and acquisition-based programming that keep viewers in touch with
 the music they love.  VH1 is a registered trademark of MTV Networks, a unit of
 Viacom Inc.  MTV Networks owns and operates the cable television programming
 services MTV: Music Television, MTV 2:  Music Television, Nickelodeon/Nick at
 Nite, TV Land and VH1 as well as The Suite from MTV Networks, a package of ten
 digital services, all of which are trademarks of MTV Networks.  MTV Networks
 also has joint ventures, licensing agreements and syndication deals whereby
 its programming can be seen worldwide.  s/press/upfront-01-april.doc
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X19028620
 
 

SOURCE VH1
    NEW YORK, April 20 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- VH1 will debut
 an extensive slate of new series, specials and movies in upcoming months, it
 was announced today by Lauren Zalaznick, Senior Vice President, Original
 Programming & Development, VH1. The new programming includes reality-based
 shows, original dramas, animated comedy series, documentary specials, and
 full-length films from VH1 Original Movies.
     "We're continuing to take advantage of the sheer breadth that we feel
 music programming can expand to," said Zalaznick.  "And in the process we're
 attracting some of the industry's best directors, producers and artists to
 VH1."
     Slated to debut over the course of the year are the new shows "Cover War,"
 "What's My 20?," "VH1 Undercover" and "Strange Frequency," as well as the
 five-part documentary series "Say It Loud:  Black Music in America," "VH1
 Presents the '80s," and "From the Waist Down: s Men, Women & Music."
     In addition, several new music-based, full-length VH1 Original Movies
 currently in production are scheduled to debut on the network later this year
 under the "Movies That Rock" banner, including a pair of films based on the
 true stories of music superstars MC Hammer and Def Leppard, plus the romantic
 drama "When the Music Stops."
 
      New VH1 series debuting in Summer 2001:
 
     -- "Cover War" - Hosted by Paul Shaffer ("Late Show with David
        Letterman"), this weekly music show pits cover bands against each
        other, tournament-style, in three different rounds of a battle that
        tests their musical agility, accuracy and performance.  A celebrity
        panel will judge each competition -- The Human Jukebox, which tests
        each band's repertoire; Style Jam, where bands are assigned to play a
        given song in a randomly selected style, from reggae to country to
        punk; and The Song-Off, in which bands are asked questions about famous
        songs, and the bands must respond by playing the answer musically.
 
     -- "What's My 20?" - This new weekly series follows in the tradition of
        VH1's "100 Greatest Rock & Roll Moments on TV" and "100 Greatest
        Songs," counting down the twenty all-time "greatest" music videos in a
        variety of categories -- as selected by VH1 viewers, who will vote
        online for everything from their favorite power ballads to rock's most
        misinterpreted lyrics.  Hosted by the viewers themselves, each one-hour
        weekly episode features 20 memorable stories told by the artists and
        the people close to them, and also lets the viewers tell why these
        videos made their lists.
 
     -- "VH1 Undercover" - This unique, fast-paced half-hour weekly comedy
        series puts a sly spin on pop music and people, using it as the basis
        for a kaleidoscope of hidden-camera pranks, daredevil stunts, sight
        gags, funny video clips and more.
 
     -- "Strange Frequency" - Combining plot-twisting terror and dark humor
        with the mythology and allure of the rock world, this new VH1 anthology
        series debuted January 24 as a two-hour movie comprising four chilling
        tales.  Inspired by TV's classic horror anthologies, "Strange
        Frequency" gives viewers a hair-raising look at stories that cover the
        spectrum from frightening morality tales to absurd comedy, adventure
        and romance, all rooted in rock 'n' roll.  Featuring unique special
        effects, the series also spotlights some of the hottest stars from film
        and television.  Produced by Viacom Productions in association with
        Broadway Video.
 
      New VH1 pilots currently in production or development:
 
     -- "Hollywood Hills" - This reality-based show explores the nature of a
        developing artist's relationship with the music industry, following six
        diverse musicians trying to make it big, and documenting their
        professional pursuits as well as their personal lives.  A production of
        Imagine Television in association with First Television Productions;
        produced by Mack and Bradley Anderson ("Battlebots") of First
        Television Productions; executive producers are Brian Grazer, Ron
        Howard and Tony Krantz of Imagine Television ("Felicity,"
        "SportsNight").
 
     -- "Camp Chaos" - This half-hour animated sketch comedy satirizes the
        music industry, from topical music issues to pop icons to music
        television.  The show is based on the popular website Campchaos.com,
        which has millions of users downloading its razor-sharp, highly
        stylized, animated parodies of everyone from Metallica and Dr. Dre to
        Elton and Eminem.
 
     -- "Pulling the Strings" - Mega-star singer, actress, director and
        producer Barbra Streisand and James Brolin are executive producers of
        this hour-long weekly nighttime drama that takes place in a record
        company, with Brolin starring as the patriarch of an entertainment
        empire which has recently been taken over by a huge corporation.
 
     -- "Forever Young" - This scripted half-hour "dramedy" follows the lives
        of four twenty-somethings who live in a building above a nightclub in
        the '80s, featuring cameos from the decade's rock icons as a regular
        feature.  The series is produced by Third Millennium Television, the
        production company of acclaimed director/producer Mike Newell, who
        directed such big-screen favorites as "Enchanted April" and "Four
        Weddings and a Funeral," and also executive-produced "High Fidelity"
        and the Best Picture Oscar-nominated smash hit "Traffic."
 
     -- "Devil's Music" - In this drama, a devil's disciple runs a record
        company where musicians are forced to sell their soul in order to gain
        success.  This unique program draws upon such real-life rock lore as
        the "Curse of 27," wherein music's true genuises like Cobain, Joplin
        and Hendrix all coincidentally die at the age of 27.  Co-produced for
        VH1 by Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc., the production company
        behind the hit TV drama series "CSI," acclaimed feature films like "The
        Sweet Hereafter" and "Crash," and the Emmy-nominated TV movies "Joan of
        Arc" and "Nuremburg."
 
     -- "Hit Men" - KISS legend Gene Simmons and production partner Leslie
        Grief (who recently completed their first pilot, "Smash," for VH1),
        author Nicholas Pileggi ("Casino," "GoodFellas") and producer Albert S.
        Ruddy ("The Godfather") are the creative team behind this drama about
        the mob and the music biz.
 
     -- "VH1's Sessions" - Versatile talent Alexandra Wentworth ("In Living
        Color," "Jerry Maguire," author of "The WASP Cookbook") executive
        produces and stars in this half-hour comedy series, part reality/part
        scripted, as an earnest but sometimes manipulative therapist whose
        clientele includes rock stars.
 
     -- "B-Side" - In a unique twist on the traditional sitcom, this half-hour
        show will combine elements of fiction and reality in focusing on the
        adventures of a couple of wedding DJs.  Reality segments will include
        the show's characters actually "working" real special events -- like
        weddings, Sweet 16 parties and bar mitzvahs -- and interacting with the
        unsuspecting party guests.  The show is developed by comic Joe
        Materese.
 
     -- "Bands, Brawn and Blister" - This innovative hour-long show takes
        today's most popular bands, removes them from their usual musical
        environment, and places them into situations filled with physical,
        mental and emotional challenges.  In the pilot episode, host Mason
        Dragotto ("The Aquanauts") follows the members of Everclear as they
        drive cattle across the lush landscape of the Oloopalakua Ranch in Maui
        -- and finds out whether these hard rockers can survive the wilds.
 
      New VH1 Original Movies in production or development:
 
     -- "Hysteria:  The Def Leppard Story" - Debuting Wednesday, July 18 at
        9:00 p.m. (ET/PT), this true story of one of the hottest pop-metal
        bands of the '80s stars Karl Geary, Orlando Seale, Adam McDonald,
        Esteban Powell, Tat Whalley, Anthony Michael Hall and supermodel Amber
        Valletta.  After finding success at home, the British group began to
        top the U.S. charts with the help of renowned producer Mutt Lange.
        Although drug and alcohol addiction increasingly took its toll on the
        band, the party continued until drummer Rick Allen lost his left arm in
        a car accident.  Pressured to find a new drummer or face the end of the
        group, the band instead encouraged their mate to learn to play with one
        arm - and emerged to their biggest audiences ever.  Patricia Clifford
        and Viacom Productions are producing; the director is Robert Mandel
        ("F/X," "School Ties"); the writers are Carolyn Shelby & Chris Ames.
 
     -- "The MC Hammer Story" - The true story of one of the most successful
        rap artists of the '90s.  From his humble beginnings as an Oakland A's
        bat boy to his phenomenal success with the 1990 cross-over hit, "U
        Can't Touch This," MC Hammer rose to the top faster than any rap act in
        music history, but he ultimately succumbed to bankruptcy -- by 1996, he
        had completely lost his more than $30 million dollar fortune.  Produced
        by Wilshire Court Productions; the writer is John Wierick.
 
     -- "When the Music Stops" - A romantic drama set inside the world of Salsa
        dancing, focusing on an engaged photographer who begins to take dance
        lessons from a handsome young Latino instructor, and is soon forced to
        choose between his world and the safety of her own.
 
      New VH1 documentaries debuting later this year:
 
     -- "Say It Loud: s Black Music in America" - Produced by VH1 with Quincy
        Jones Media Group, Rhino Entertainment and Highway Films, this
        documentary series recounts the evolution of urban music's most
        powerful and trend-setting genres through firsthand accounts of those
        who experienced and created the history.  Covering jazz, blues, gospel,
        and hip hop through to modern R&B and Soul, the documentary chronicles
        the contributions of African American musicians like Aretha Franklin,
        Duke Ellington, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Isaac Hayes, Tina Turner,
        Prince, Tupac Shakur, Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, Robert Johnson,
        Whitney Houston, Sam Cooke, Dr. Dre, Al Green, and many others
 
     -- "VH1 Presents the '80s" - This five-part VH1 documentary series looks
        at how the world changed in those ten years - and how music helped play
        a part - by exploring the decade's biggest musical artists and styles,
        and examining how music reflected and influenced our ideas about
        politics, money, technology, fashion, the media, drugs, race and sex.
        Through interviews with the some of decade's most influential figures,
        the series will reflect on the significance of the changes that
        occurred in the eighties, and look at how the trends that started in
        the eighties dominate the culture today.
 
     -- "From the Waist Down:  sMen, Women & Music" - A series of five themed,
        non-chronological hours, this VH1 documentary special looks at how
        music and sexual attitudes have been profoundly connected, beginning
        with the genesis of rock in the '50s, straight through to the porn
        metal rap of today, tracing the sexual saturation of contemporary
        culture in the past five decades -- and taking the provocative premise
        that music has been responsible for it all.
 
     VH1 produces and programs a wide variety of music-based series, specials,
 live events and acquisition-based programming that keep viewers in touch with
 the music they love.  VH1 is a registered trademark of MTV Networks, a unit of
 Viacom Inc.  MTV Networks owns and operates the cable television programming
 services MTV: Music Television, MTV 2:  Music Television, Nickelodeon/Nick at
 Nite, TV Land and VH1 as well as The Suite from MTV Networks, a package of ten
 digital services, all of which are trademarks of MTV Networks.  MTV Networks
 also has joint ventures, licensing agreements and syndication deals whereby
 its programming can be seen worldwide.  s/press/upfront-01-april.doc
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X19028620
 
 SOURCE  VH1