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John Kiesewetter on the world of local and national TV

Senior Entertainment Reporter John Kiesewetter has been covering TV and media issues for 20 years. After joining the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1975 as a summer intern, he worked as a county government and suburban reporter; assistant city editor and suburban editor; and features editor supervising the Life section. He has a B.S. in journalism from Ohio University.

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

MTV Shoots TV Pilot At SCPA

This sounds like a great idea: Nick Lachey is producing MTV reality series pilot at his alma mater, the School for Creative & Performing Arts.

Lachey, a 1992 SCPA grad, is executive producer on a "Fame"-style series blending "performances by the students with the narrative about what takes place in the school," according to the Hollywood Reporter.

"The stories and relationships are all set to music that's organic in what’s going on in the school and also performed by the kids," said Tony DiSanto, MTV executive vice president for series development and programming, in the trade publication.

People magazine's web site said the show "sounds a lot like a real-life 'High School Musical.' "

As you know, Lachey, 34, a former College Hill resident, starred in one of MTV's first reality hits, "Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica" (2003-05) with then wife Jessica Simpson. He scored another reality TV success in December, leading a Cincinnati choir to the $250,000 top prize on NBC's "Clash of the Choirs."

In early January, the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Film Commission began working with MTV on obtaining equipment , crews and hotel rooms. Some shooting was done at the school and around town in February.

I'm still trying to nail down all the details. More when I know it.

5:40 p.m. Update: MTV executives will decide "in several months" whether to shoot the musical drama reality series at SCPA. Shooting on the pilot here was completed March 1.

Under the Cincinnati Public Schools contract with MTV, the school system will be paid $10,000 for the pilot, and $10,000 for each episode the first season, if it goes to series. MTV has an option for five additional cycles or seasons, according to the contract.

To allay parents' fears about the content for the possible cable series, the contract stipulates that MTV "will not intentionally broadcast" students consuming drugs or alcohol, fighting, using any dangerous weapons, or intimidating or harassing SCPA students or staff.

Lachey received permission from SCPA and Cincinnati Public Schools last spring to shoot a brief presentation film at the school. He then pitched the concept to MTV. He is an executive producer on the project with Marc Platt (producer of the "Legally Blonde" movies), Russell Heldt ("Real World") and Colton Gramm, Lachey's manager.


at 3/12/2008 1:01 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John - you blast channel 12 for putting a mention about potholes on its breaking news crawl...

But I literally just got this "Breaking News" in my email from the Enquirer.

Breaking News:


March 12, 2008 10:33

Lachey MTV series to film at SCPA

Nick Lachey is coming home to produce a MTV reality series pilot at his alma mater, the School for Creative & Performing Arts.

Now tell me: how is THAT breaking news?????

at 3/12/2008 1:24 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

jeez, elbert (anon 1:01), take your medication...and your lumps.
channel 5's been getting beat up by john for years. he takes one shot at you and it's like the earth has tilted off its axis.
deal with it, pal.

at 3/12/2008 2:01 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did any local crew get work?

at 3/12/2008 2:02 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John do you know if any local crew got any work?

at 3/12/2008 3:49 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who sent out that Nick Lachey breaking news e-mail, John?

at 3/12/2008 4:39 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Probably because you signed up for any "breaking news" email blasts from the TV blog, that come to your inbox. We do not ask for "breaking news" stories on our TV. They are there for EVERYONE to see, whether we like it or not. Most of them these days, we don't like.

Email blasts are REQUESTED, by you. I didn't get an breaking news update about the reality tv show, because I didn't sign up. I did get the breaking news story about pot holes, which really wasn't breaking news, because I had not choice. Get it? There is a BIG difference. Now get off of John's back and figure out another strategy for defending the lame excuse of "breaking news", because this one was WEAK!

at 3/12/2008 8:45 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

John - did somebody really send a breaking news email alert about Nick Lachey?

at 3/13/2008 1:22 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Anon 4:39 - I signed up for the Enquirer's breaking news alerts to get breaking news - not to get a lame story about Nick Lachey and his desperate attempts to stay in the media spotlight.

You may not like my argument, but it is valid. John works for the Enquirer, and as a newspaper reporter, layed out an editorial blasting a competing medium for its labeling an item as "Breaking News." And days later, his outfit labels a TV pilot (which hasn't even been picked up by a network and may not be) as "Breaking News."

I would assume, since the "breaking news" is tied to an item in his blog, that John is tied to the transmission of this "Breaking News" email.

This isn't an arguement over putting something out over TV versus email. It's about what is, and is not, labeled breaking news.

And seriously - a little crawl at the bottom of the screen is that disruptive to your life? I'd rather have that than a news break covering the program in its entirety.

at 3/13/2008 3:52 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, you TV people have lost your mind. You really think a crawl is not annoying? And you really think equating breaking news about potholes to breaking news of the Nick Lachey story is proper? Please. Lachey and SPCA might not have been huge news, but, in this city, an argument could be made that it is. No argument could ever be made on behalf of potholes being breaking news. And crawls are annoying, as is the insistence on making every little change in weather a major deal. TV news people will never get it because they are no really news people.

at 3/13/2008 11:40 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Off Topic

John, you ever hear how Burbank is doing in retirement?


The crawls are annoying as all get out and not needed to gunk up a sports game or tv show for over a week.

at 3/14/2008 1:10 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 3:52 - one thing you need to realize, that breaking news ticker was NOT about potholes alone. You might think that by John's post. However, it was one item in an overall weather update. John's gripe is about the "breaking news" label, not the fact that the crawl ran at all. That is the difference that makes it an apples to apples comparison between his labeling of a Nick Lachey project breaking news. And no one forces you to watch TV, just like no one forced me to sign up for breaking news emails.

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