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The CW orders new 'Top Model'-like Tyra Banks fashion reality series


By Christopher Rocchio, 01/31/2008 

The creative minds behind The CW's America's Next Top Model and Bravo's Project Runway are reportedly collaborating on a new The CW reality competition series for aspiring fashion magazine editors.

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The CW has ordered the new fashion magazine-focused reality series from Project Runway developer Eli Holzman and executive producers Jane Cha and Desiree Gruber, who have teamed-up with Top Model creator Tyra Banks and executive producer Ken Mok to develop the series, The Hollywood Reporter reported Wednesday.

"It is a competition show about aspiring assistants looking to become assistant editors at a fashion magazine," Mok told The Reporter. "At the same time they're trying to prove themselves as aspiring fashionistas, that they have a sense of style and savvyness, all the things to make it in the fashion world."

Billed as a combination of the film The Devil Wears Prada and the The Assistant -- a The Apprentice-like 2004 MTV reality series that featured comedian Andy Dick searching for a personal assistant -- the untitled The CW reality series is being developed as a "potential companion piece" for Top Model, according to The ReporterTop Model's first six installments aired on the now-defunct UPN before moving to The CW prior to its Fall 2006 seventh edition.

Each episode of the series will follow the contestants as they compete in two different challenges, according to The Reporter.  The winner of the weekly individual assistant competition will decide the pairings for a team editorial challenge, which will follow each group as they submit a their work for "The Book" -- a mock edition of a magazine.

While the losing team's submission will cause one of its members to be eliminated, according to The Reporter, the winning team will see its mock page appear in "The Book."  The aspiring fashion magazine editor left standing at the end of the competition will win a job in the fashion industry.

To insure the series is "as organic to the fashion world as possible," according to The Reporter, the show's producers are negotiating with a "leading fashion magazine" to have its editorial staff mentor and judge the contestants.

Holzman, a former Miramax Television executive who developed Project Runway, created the initial concept for the new show along with Cha and Gruber before pitching it to The CW, according to The Reporter

Due to Top Model's success on the network, The CW then reportedly "suggested a collaboration" with Banks and Mok due to Banks' background in the modeling industry and both their experience in the "fashion reality genre," The Reporter reported.

The eight-episode series will begin production in April, according to The Reporter, and is currently slated for a late spring/early summer premiere.

Banks' Bankable Prods., Mok's 10X10 Entertainment and Cha and Gruber's Full Picture are reportedly producing the series, with Banks, Mok, Holzman, Cha and Gruber serving as executive producer.  The project represents the first series for Banks and Mok as a team since Top Model, according to The Reporter.

(Photo credit The CW)


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