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MTV orders Nick Lachey-produced 'Fame'-like reality show pilot

By Christopher Rocchio, 03/11/2008 

Nick Lachey apparently wants to give some students at his alma mater a shot at fame.

MTV has ordered a pilot from the former Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica star for a new series billed as a reality version of the movie Fame, The Hollywood Reporter reported Tuesday.

The currently untitled project will focus on students attending Cincinnati's School for Creative and Performing Arts, blending their performances with narrative about the school Lachey attended as a youth, according to The Reporter.

MTV series development and programming executive Tony DiSanto told The Reporter the series will feature a "unique visual language that sets it apart" from other shows.

"The stories and relationships are all set to music that's organic in what's going on in the school and also performed by the kids," DiSanto told The Reporter. "This is a genre-busting, creative experiment that I'm really excited about."

Lachey approached MTV about the project and will serve as executive producer along with Marc Platt and Russell Heldt, according to The Reporter.

Should MTV give a full series order to Lachey's show, it wouldn't be the first reality version of Fame to hit the small screen.

NBC's Summer 2003 Fame reality competition series followed Debbie Allen in her attempts to find a multi-talented performer similar to the one she portrayed in the 1980 musical film of the same name.

Detroit native Harlemm Lee was crowned Fame's winner based on home viewer votes and received a management deal from music manager Johnny Wright; a $100,000 spokesperson contract from Wilhelmina Artist Management; and a principal role in the opening New York City-run of Fame, among other prizes.

A day after Fame's finale aired TV Guide reported Jeff Zucker, then president of NBC's entertainment division, told television critics that the show "did not work."

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