FOXTEL READIES NEW MUSICAL REALITY SHOW

Published on 17th Sep, 2009

foxtelWhile Ten has high hopes of good audiences for its edgy new US “high school musical”-style drama, Glee, tonight, Foxtel looks to have found a new format that ticks all the boxes for another flagship reality show, with a feel good, family focus that aims to uncover genuine talent.

The annual school concert will get an extra twist next year as Ultimate School Musical follows teenagers at an Australian high school as they embark on the creation and production of what’s a landmark event in any school in just six weeks.

The series comes from UK independent Mentorn International and will air on Fox 8 in 2010. Foxtel has commissioned Fremantle Media to produce the ten one-hour series, in conjunction with the Gordon Frost Organisation, the Australian stage producers of Fame which will be the chosen musical.

Foxtel executive director of television Brian Walsh said the series is a unique blend of music, performance, creativity and a celebration of youth which provides an opportunity to discover the next generation of Australian talent.

“Australia has produced some of the world’s most popular and acclaimed stage and screen performers and Ultimate School Musical is the ideal platform to encourage the development of the next era of star performers,” he said.

Walsh added that he was confident Ultimate School Musical will follow the success of other Foxtel locally adapted formats including Australia’s Next Top Model and Project Runway Australia. David Leach, Managing Director of Mentorn International, described the show as “superb family entertainment”.

“It’s an irresistible mix of docu-soap and showbiz, with a feel good factor. There are real life stories and jeopardy as we see whether the school children can pull off such a massive challenge, and deliver all the glitz and glamour of a professional musical.”

“This format continues to generate great international interest and we’re looking forward to seeing how the Australian children do with Fame after the success of Hairspray and Grease in the UK.” Confirmation that an Australian production will be made comes as a second UK series is airing on Sky1, “Grease: The School Musical”. Hosted by Duncan James the series follows ordinary teenagers from a school as they are set an extraordinary challenge – to put on a musical production to a professional standard in just six weeks.

The first series, Hairspray: The School Musical was hosted by Denise Van Outen.

SOURCE: Media Day

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