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ABC readies next reality entry

Feb 10, 2003  •  Post A Comment

The voyeur fetish ravishing American TV audiences continues on virtually all the networks. Now ABC has added “Big Brother” producer Arnold Shapiro to its programming plate for an upcoming series and is said to be finalizing offers to renew its two reality staples.
Arnold Shapiro & Allison Grodner Productions is working on a project in which family members and friends compete against each other for prizes. The still-untitled series is already in production and is expected to be a star player in the network’s late spring/early summer lineup. Mr. Shapiro has executive produced the past two runs of “Big Brother” on CBS as well as “Flipped” on MTV.
ABC is said to be finalizing a deal with Telepictures to bring at least two more editions of reality franchise “The Bachelor” to the air. Although one run is currently in the can and slated to air in March, sources said that one more “Bachelor” and one more “Bachelorette” are being readied to air later in the year. The network has already ordered two “Bachelor” specials set to air this spring in an attempt to capitalize on the lasting success of the franchise. In addition, the ABC executive said that another go-around for “The Mole” will likely be ordered for a late-summer run. A Telepictures spokesperson said no deal has been finalized on “Bachelor.”
Not to be outdone, Fox has given an order for the third installment of “Temptation Island” from Rocket Science Laboratories. The series began casting last week to once again follow unmarried couples as they put their relationships to the ultimate test as singles attempt to lead the contestants astray.
Casting will be held in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Dallas, Miami, among other locations, in hopes of finding the right faces. Fox World, a production unit of Fox Television Studios, produces “Temptation Island 3” with Rocket Science Laboratories. Daniela Welteke is head of Fox World, and Michael Shevloff serves as executive producer. Chris Cowan and Jean-Michel Michenaud serve as executive producers for Rocket Science Laboratories. Rocket Science was also the force behind Fox’s hit series “Joe Millionaire.”
NBC has decided to join the talent-search-programming wave spawned by the success of Fox’s “American Idol.” The network’s two new shows, “The Search for the Most Talented Kid in America” and “Second Chance: The Search for the Most Talented Senior in America,” will begin production immediately and should hit the air sometime in the spring. Auditions for “Talented Kid” begin this week.
“Talented Kid” will showcase 12 child performers each week. Three winners, one from each of three age groups, from each show will go to the finals, where they’ll compete for a cash prize. Information on “Second Chance” has yet to be finalized.
NBC has also opted to bring back “Dog Eat Dog.” Thirteen new episodes of the series will premiere Monday, Feb. 24 and move to its regular Tuesday time slot the following night.
Finally, Telepictures has reached agreement with the WB for a second helping of “High School Reunion.” The seven-episode order will focus on the class of 1993 from Round Rock High School in Texas with production beginning this spring for a fall premiere.