It's "Jingles" all the way for CBS, Burnett

Mon Apr 14, 2008 4:10am EDT
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By James Hibberd

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - CBS wants to cue up "Jingles" in the summer.

The network is readying a new reality show from "Survivor" producer Mark Burnett where contestants compose melodies to sell products.

CBS ordered eight episodes of the advertiser-friendly "Jingles" (working title) before the Hollywood writers strike started last November. Sources said the series has started casting and preproduction, and CBS is expected to announce a summer launch within the next couple of weeks.

The one-hour competition will feature contestants writing and performing product jingles before a panel of judges. The serenaded item can range from groceries to clothing to writing a theme song for a TV show. Viewers will pick the winning jingle each week, and the tune later will be used in a commercial.

Burnett helped pioneer product placement in reality television, through such shows as "Survivor" and "The Apprentice." But as the entire point of "Jingles" challenges is to better sell a product, the show could take ad integration to a new level.

Although "Survivor" continues to be a formidable ratings force on CBS, both parties could use a fresh unscripted hit. CBS canceled "Secret Talents of the Stars" last week after a single episode, while Burnett's most recent efforts -- "My Dad Is Better Than Your Dad" and "Amnesia" -- have performed modestly for NBC.

Burnett also has his hit "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" continuing with new episodes on Fox in the summer.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

<p>Producer Mark Burnett addresses the audience about the upcoming Shrek III film during announcements by AOL regarding their 2007-2008 lineup in New York April 17, 2007. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson</p>