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VH1 orders new 'Dad Camp' reality series for first-time fathers


By Christopher Rocchio, 10/29/2009 

President Barack Obama has reportedly inspired a new reality series to help whip unprepared fathers into shape.

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VH1 has ordered Dad Camp, which will follow first-time fathers as they receive a tutorial on how to deal with their newly-found grown-up responsibilities, The Hollywood Reporter reported Wednesday.

The tentatively-titled series is being produced by The Biggest Loser's 3Ball production company and will be executive produced by J.D. Roth.

"In a lot of ways, men aren't what they used to be," Roth told The Reporter.

"We've made it so easy for men to walk away from their responsibilities. These guys still want to hang with their buddies, and it's time for them to man-up and take responsibility."

VH1 programming executive Jeff Olde added that the series' format was inspired by a June message from President Obama -- in which he asked fathers to "step up" and take responsibility for their children.

"Obama put that out there, and then 3Ball came in and pitched this," Olde told The Reporter. "There are real-world emotional stakes involved. It's not about winning a prize."

While Dad Camp's format sounds similar to that of VH1's Tool Academy -- which rehabilitates bad boyfriends -- Olde said the new project has "more textures" to its storytelling, according to The Reporter.

Dad Camp is part of a new VH1 programming strategy to move away from reality dating shows -- a decision that grew momentum after Megan Wants a Millionaire bachelor Ryan Jenkins was charged with murdering his ex-wife Jasmine Fiore this summer. 

Jenkins then hung himself in a secluded motel after successfully eluding American and Canadian authorities and fleeing to his native Canada.

"We've been evolving for a while now, and some of the shows are aspirational, but we're not trying to be the Hallmark Channel," Olde told The Reporter. "But we are trying to tap all the different moods in pop culture."

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