Donald Trump and MTV planning new 'Pageant Place' reality series
By Christopher Rocchio and Steve Rogers, 06/20/2007
Three beauty queens living under one roof is an equation for some intense drama.
Donald Trump and MTV have teamed-up to develop Pageant Place, a new reality series that will follow current Miss Universe Riyo Mori, Miss USA Rachel Smith and Miss Teen USA Katie Blair as they live together in a New York City apartment and represent their different crowns, Daily Varietyreported Wednesday.
The three women coexisting together isn't new, as they normally live together during their yearlong reign. However this will be the first time viewers will be invited inside to witness some royal cattiness.
"What's great is that we're not bringing them together -- we're tapping into a real situation," MTV programming head Tony DiSanto told Variety.
Pageant Place will apparently have The Donald's fingerprints all over it, as his Trump Organization owns the rights to the Miss Universe Organization -- which includes Miss Universe, Miss USA and Miss Teen USA -- and the series is being produced via his Trump Productions, which he launched last summer. The Apprentice star will executive produce Pageant Place along with Trump Productions president Andy Litinsky, the former The Apprentice 2 contestant that Trump hired to run his own production company last year; Miss Universe Organization president Paula Shugart; and Evolution Film & Tape's Doug Ross, Variety reported.
While Pageant Place will share "some similarities" with NBC's The Apprentice, Variety reported it will be more akin to MTV's The Real World.
"We won't have any competitions or eliminations," Litinsky told Variety. "We don't need any of that because there's already so much here. It's all real."
Trump was reportedly tabbed for his other new reality series, Lady or a Tramp -- a new still-in-development Fox reality series that would take a group of girls out of their wild and crazy lifestyles and send them to charm school where they'll attempt to become proper women -- because its production company RDF USA thought The Donald showed compassion by letting former Miss USA Tara Conner clean-up her act in substance abuse rehab instead of taking away her crown.
Conner will appear in Pageant Place, Variety reported, serving as "a kind of den mother and chaperone" for Mori, Smith and Blair.
"We'd been thinking about everything that happens backstage and how women like Tara captured the imagination of so many of us, including a slob named Rosie O'Donnell, who didn't like that I gave Tara a second chance," Trump told Variety. "And we thought, 'Wouldn't it be great if we let the cameras roll?'"
Production on Pageant Place will begin this summer and it should debut on MTV "by the end of the year," according to Variety, which added while eight half-hour episodes have been ordered, DiSanto said the network has "yet to commit to a number." Since the pageants crown new winners on four-month intervals, Pageant Place's first season is expected to include Blair's departure and the arrival of the Miss Teen USA pageant's next winner (the pageant will crown its 25th winner on August 24).
While Trump and DiSanto believe chronicling the beauty queens' adventures will make a good reality series, the same apparently can't be said for NBC. As part of its beauty pageant broadcast deals with the Miss Universe Organization, the network had a "first-look" option on any potential spinoff series.
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According to Variety, Pageant Place's producers had originally been working with MTV's VH1 sister network before MTV Networks -- feeling the program will do well in the young female demographic -- decided to shift it to its younger-skewing flagship cable network.