Liquid Pours ‘Greatness’ for MTV Sked

Apr 25, 2005  •  Post A Comment

MTV has greenlighted “Call to Greatness,” a prime-time reality series in which a team of five men attempts to break world records around the country.

The show is the first series deal for Los Angeles-based production house Liquid Theory, best known for making vignettes for MTV and VH1 awards shows. “Greatness” is tentatively scheduled for an Oct. 16 debut, likely as part of the network’s high-profile Sunday Stew reality block. MTV declined to comment.

“It’s a positive show with the message that you can do anything if you put your mind to it,” said Liquid Theory cofounder Austin Reading. “It’s good-natured fun, which is sometimes missing from reality shows.

Mr. Reading and co-founder Julie Kellman said they plan to give “Greatness” a unique cinematic feel.

“Each scene will be treated like a minimovie and scored like a movie, only using indie rock songs,” Mr. Reading said. “We’re trying to create these environments that are grandiose and epic, then do something silly there. There’s such a glut of reality programming, and we’re trying to so something that looks and feels different.”

In addition to “Greatness,” last week MTV debuted Liquid Theory’s new design for MTV News updates. Mr. Reading and Ms. Kellman are also producing a highly anticipated May 12 MTV special unveiling, the second generation Xbox game console called “MTV Presents: The Next Generation Xbox Revealed.” Previously, the company produced content for the MTV Video Awards, VH1 Fashion Awards and the visual introduction to U2’s 2001 Super Bowl halftime show.

According to Mr. Reading, the “Greatness” deal happened surprisingly fast, going from a mere pitch (their first) last October to shooting a pilot in January. MTV received the pilot in February and immediately ordered 10 episodes.

The experience left Mr. Reading and Ms. Kellman seeking to add more series productions to their fledgling slate.

“We have some ideas we’re planning on pitching before we hit the road in June [to shoot the show],” said Ms. Kellman. “We want this to be the first of many shows.”

“So far, we’re one for one,” Mr. Reading added.