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‘Fame’s’ Going to Live Forever

Mar 10, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Fame is getting a new life-again.
NBC is developing a reality show based on Fame, which was a feature film and a TV series about the struggles of students at New York City’s High School for the Performing Arts, who attempted to achieve stardom as dancers, musicians and actors.
MGM, which owns the Fame title as part of its library, and Stone Stanley Entertainment are producing the show. David Stanley and Scott Stone are the executive producers.
The format of the show would be a nationwide talent search competition with a prize at the end. Specific details of the show are still being hammered out, but Debbie Allen, who portrayed dance teacher Lydia Grant in the original feature film and TV series, is in serious negotiations to sign on and play a role as an advocate for the contestants.
Hank Cohen, president of MGM Television Entertainment, said revamping the Fame format is MGM’s first foray into reality TV. MGM is looking to turn some of its other titles in its library into reality formats as well, he said.
Fame originally debuted as a feature film in 1980 and then was turned into a TV series that aired on NBC from January 1982 to January 1983 before being canceled. It was revived as a first-run syndicated hour, which successfully ran from fall 1983 to fall 1987. A second incarnation of the concept, Fame L.A., which was set in Venice Beach, Calif., was sold into syndication and ran for 22 episodes in 1997 and 1998.
The success of Fox’s American Idol last year sent all the broadcast networks scrambling for talent search formats-CBS launched a successful remake of Star Search in the fall, and ABC debuts All American Girl this week. NBC premieres “America’s Most Talent Kid” March 21 and has several other talent search projects on its roster, including Second Chance: The Search for America’s Most Talented Senior and Next Action Star.
One built-in advantage Fame would have is the positive brand recognition associated with the title over the years.
Stone Stanley’s credits include its production of three editions of The Mole for ABC, two editions of Popstars for The WB and The Man Show for Comedy Central.