Justin Timberlake to produce MTV reality show

Fri May 9, 2008 5:28pm EDT
 
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Youth-oriented cable television network MTV said on Friday it will air a new reality game show called "The Phone" to be executive-produced by pop star Justin Timberlake.

The series, which is based on a Dutch reality show format, begins each episode with two hidden cell phones ringing at opposite ends of a major city.

Contestants who answer the phones will have five seconds to decide if they want to play along for a cash prize, and a guide on the other end of the line then gives contestants a mission to complete before time runs out.

As they race through the city on their adventure, a helicopter tracks their every move. MTV described the show as a wild and cinematic ride reminiscent of such films as "The Bourne Identity" and "The Game."

"Genre-busting and reinvention is at the core of what we do, and 'The Phone' does just that," Tony Disanto, MTV executive vice president of programming and series development, said in a statement.

"Each week will be an action-packed mini-movie," he said.

The show, which will be produced by reality specialist FremantleMedia North America, will begin airing in the United States this coming fall, though no specific launch date was disclosed. Timberlake will act as an executive producer.

Timberlake rose to fame with the 1990s boy ban 'N Sync, and his solo career took off in recent years as he has scored such hits as "SexyBack."

Reuters/Nielsen

 
<p>Justin Timberlake reacts as he holds during the 25th Annual ASCAP Pop Music Awards in Hollywood, April 9, 2008. MTV said on Friday it will air a new reality game show called "The Phone" to be executive-produced by the pop star. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok</p>