New shows: Chubby Model, Dance Your Ass Off, Anytown Beatdown, Expedition: Stanley and Livingstone, and Jingles

Networks have recently announced their plans to produce new reality series, including a number of competition series that are new takes on already existing competitions, and have also announced renewals of existing series.

MTV has ordered three new series from one of the producers of Flavor of Love and The Surreal Life, including Chubby Model, which is exactly what it sounds like, a plus-sized model competition. Variety reports that producer Cris Abrego will also “produce ‘From G’s to Gents,’ the previously announced social makeover skein from Jamie Foxx” and a yet-to-be-determined third show.

The History Channel will air a series produced by Mark Burnett that retraces Henry Morton Stanley’s journey to find Livingstone. On Expedition: Stanley and Livingstone, “[f]ive elite explorers, each experts in their own field, will retrace Stanley’s journey using only a compass, and the map and journal from the original expedition,” Multichannel News reports. The show will be produced this fall and air in 2009, and the network’s VP Nancy Dubuc said in a statement that Burnett’s skills at telling compelling stories, his signature cinematic eye, his unequaled ability to shoot in the wildest, most remote locations, his ability to predict and capture the heart of human drama and his innate love of history all blend together to make this a revolutionary new series for History.”

Mark Burnett is also producing a product-placement heavy summer competition for CBS called Jingles. The show “will feature contestants writing and performing product jingles before a panel of judges” and “[v]iewers will pick the winning jingle each week, and the tune later will be used in a commercial,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Oxygen announced a slate of new shows and series renewals. New shows include Dance Your Ass Off, a combination of a dancing competition and weight-loss show; Glamazons, which is basically just Bravo’s Real Housewives (“four single women living in New York City will juggle their personal lives and pursue their dreams of conquering the music industry and Sin City”); and Coolio’s Rules, in which Coolio “goes from rap daddy to big daddy, raising a bunch of kids on his own while juggling his music career, a new clothing line and his love life.” As to old shows, Tori Spelling and husband Dean McDermott will leave their fake bed and breakfast behind for their show’s third season, while The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency will expand on its inauthenticity by having “the models … all live under one roof.”

TV Land is also getting into the model competition business with She’s Got The Look, which debuts June 4 and is a competition between womenover the age of 35. The show is hosted by Kim Alexis and the winner “will receive a lucrative modeling contract with Wilhelmina Models, Inc. and a fashion spread in SELF Magazine,” TV Land said.

Former Apprentice cast member Tito Ortiz is producing and hosting Anytown Beatdown for G4. The show is “a UFC-style series where friends and rivals resolve their differences by fighting in the octagon. Ortiz will train the participants in mixed-martial arts fighting, then let them duke it out,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Finally, Donald Trump was producing a show called Lady or a Tramp for Fox, but that show–a UK import–will now air on MTV. Ladette to Lady, which is “still untitled for the U.S., will send 15 contempo young women to a boarding school environment where they’ll be coached in self-improvement and femme empowerment techniques, and then presented with a series of challenges,” Variety reports. “Casting and pre-production is already under way.”

More flavors for Abrego [Variety]
A TV Expedition, Burnett Presumes [Multichannel News]
Mark Burnett preps new CBS series [Hollywood Reporter]
Oxygen Programs Seamless Tuesday Nights [Oxygen press release]
TV Land Reveals Ten Finalists Competing to Become the Next Great Supermodel… [TV Land press release]
Tito Ortiz lays ‘Beatdown’ on G4 [The Hollywood Reporter]
Trump, MTV head to charm school [Variety]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.