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MTV executive: 'The Hills' "probably the biggest show we've ever had"

By Christopher Rocchio, 07/31/2008 

With more than two decades of programming under its belt, MTV entertainment president Brian Graden apparently feels The Hills has left the network's biggest mark on the television landscape.

"I would go out on a limb and say this is probably the biggest show we've ever had," said Graden in  Entertainment Weekly's August 8 issue. "With Lauren Conrad, a whole generation of women see themselves in her."

The 22-year-old former Laguna Beach teen queen agrees with Graden about what her "brand" represents.

"It's about empowering girls," she told EW.  "You're gonna have bad boyfriends and best friends-turned-enemies. You need to be yourself, you need to work hard, and you'll get there."

Conrad's medium for getting her brand out there doesn't stop at her MTV reality series, as she also has her clothing line being sold in 500 boutiques across the country; endorsement deals with Mark cosmetics and AT&T; a book proposal in the works; and is even hoping to launch her own television and film production company.

"I see her as a global brand," Conrad's agent, Max Stubblefield, told EW.  "Fashion and beauty are the drivers, but we've had a lot of interest from a lot of different categories."

Conrad began filming for Laguna Beach during her senior year of high school and has been a mainstay on the small screen ever since, a fact that she said isn't lost on her.

"I go through phases when I've been filming where I wake up in the middle of the night and I think I'm being filmed," she told EW.  "That's when I have to take a vacation."

The Hills fourth-season is scheduled to debut on August 18 at 10PM ET/PT, and Conrad said she approached it just like previous installments of the series.

"Every season, I think it's the last," she told EW.  "Right now, I think this is the last season."

Not so fast, according to creator and executive producer Adam DiVello, who said he envisions the show going at least one more season.  However he has loftier expectations than that.

"I'd love to stay with it until Lauren gets married," DiVello told EW.

While The Hills might have an eventual ending, those who have made a name for themselves via the show will apparently be sticking around.

Last month MTV announced it ordered Bromance, a new reality competition series that will follow a group of guys from across the country as they travel to Hollywood for the opportunity to befriend The Hills regular Brody Jenner and become a member of his entourage.

"It'll be like Swingers," Jenner told EW. "Not your typical elimination show like Tila Tequila -- it's very loose."

MTV is also reportedly developing a new reality series that would follow Whitney Port in her bi-coastal travels for the fashion PR firm People's Revolution while also befriending a group of New York City girls that includes socialite Olivia Palermo. 

While MTV would not confirm the show was in the works, Port said she's aware it's being bantered about.

"There are rumors that I've heard from people at MTV, but nothing is set in stone yet," she told EW.  "It's definitely something I'm willing to do."

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