While MTV placed an emphasis on three new reality series featuring celebrities during its portion of the Television Critics Assn. press tour, one top executive isn’t concerned that the network is becoming too saturated with those types of shows.
“Each show has its own characters,” Brian Graden, MTV Networks Music Group president of entertainment, said Friday at the Universal City Hilton. “You don’t compare ‘The Cosby Show’ with ’My Wife & Kids.’ It’s a format, but it’s about people, and as long as there are interesting people and each has its own dynamic, we’ll keep doing (these types of shows).”
The network also has aired such celebrity-focused reality shows as “The Osbournes,” “Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica,” “The Ashlee Simpson Show” and “Til Death Do Us Part: Carmen & Dave.”
One of the new shows, “Trippin’,” follows Cameron Diaz and her celebrity friends — including Drew Barrymore, Kid Rock and Jessica Alba — as they travel to remote locations to explore scenic, sometimes ecologically threatened locales.
Diaz hopes that viewers of the show, which premieres at 10:30 p.m. March 28, take away an inspiring, pro-environment message.
“We only have one planet...and we only have so many (resources),” she said via satellite from an undisclosed location. “If we want to keep this quality of life...we need to teach kids how to use and how to better use them.”
MTV also highlighted two other new reality series: “The Nick Lachey Project” (working title), featuring singer Nick Lachey, who also stars in the network’s “Newlyweds,” and a 10-episode series featuring Blink-182’s Travis Barker and his wife, Shanna Moakler. Both shows are set to premiere in April.
In other highlights from the MTV Networks presentation:
- Comedy Central showcased its two newest series pickups: “Stella,” a scripted comedy from Michael Ian Black, Michael Showalter and David Wain (“The State”) that premieres in the summer, and the reality show “Con,” featuring newcomer Skyler Stone and premiering April 6. In addition, its sketch comedy show “The Hollow Men” is set to premiere March 10.
- Spike TV highlighted its new reality-comedy show “Invasion Iowa,” which features William Shatner playing a prank on the residents of a small town in Iowa. Shatner said the show is not mean-spirited. “It’s laughter and tears — not just a simple ‘let’s fool you’ show,” he said. Billed as the network’s first-ever miniseries, “Iowa” premieres March 29.
- CMT announced a new elimination-competition reality series, “Popularity Contest,” that takes 10 city slickers and puts them in a small town to compete for the title of “most popular” resident. It premieres April 11.
- Farrah Fawcett was on hand to talk up “Chasing Farrah,” her new reality series on TV Land that premieres March 23.