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Search for a new Doll -- too freaky

CW's upcoming reality show about the band draws a negative reaction from reporters.

January 20, 2007|Maria Elena Fernandez | Times Staff Writer

When you sing along with the Pussycat Dolls -- "Don't you wish your girlfriend was hot like me? Don't you wish your girlfriend was a freak like me?" -- do you know what you are saying?

In case you don't, here's the translation offered from uber-film and television producer McG:

"Don't you wish your girlfriend could be free and comfortable to do her own thing?"

Yes, dear reader, this is the part when you giggle.

McG appeared Friday before the TV media in Pasadena to promote a new reality series for the CW, "Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll." The eight-episode series, which premieres March 6, follows the recording group's search for "another doll." McG was part of a panel, also attended by Robin Antin, the group's creator; other producers; and judge Lil' Kim, who explained that she is perfectly suited to judge who should become the next Doll because she was born "a Doll."

"Freak," the TV media were told, is not what you think. "Freak is a dance." "It's just a word." "Even Rick James knew that."

Asked by critics to defend the show's sexualized depiction of young women, Antin said: "It is empowering to get up there and dress up like a Doll."

She added: "There's nothing skanky about it. Their clothing is cute. It's fun. Yes, of course, it's sexy."

It was the second-to-last day of the tour, and one of the only sessions during which members of the media booed the panelists.


'Chris' renewed; 'Crown' coming

In her first news conference since the CW launched in September, Dawn Ostroff, president of entertainment, announced Friday the renewal of critically acclaimed "Everybody Hates Chris" for next season and a new competition reality series for this season, "Crowned," which features mother-daughter teams working together to win a beauty pageant.

Ostroff, who said that the network's biggest challenge so far has been how to let viewers know where it can be found on the dial, said overall, "I think we're very happy where we are." (The CW can be found in some markets on the WB's former channel; in other markets, it's on the UPN's former home.)

Ostroff faced many questions about choices the network has made, including whether "Everybody Hates Chris," a single-camera comedy with mainstream appeal, should be leading a block of multi-camera African American sitcoms, and whether those other low-rated comedies will survive this season. The session was part of the TV midseason press tour in Pasadena.

"Our advertisers are very happy with the shows," Ostroff said. "It's an extremely successful night for us. We employ more African American producers than any other network, and we're very committed to that."

Ostroff was also tight-lipped about the future of "Gilmore Girls," the network's second-highest-rated show. Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel, its two stars, do not have contracts beyond this season. Ostroff said only that she is "talking" to the stars and producers about its possibilities.

Also, "America's Top Model" returns for its eighth season, starting Feb. 28.


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