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2009 July 15

Which Other Socials are Making Airwaves?

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(NEW YORK) Following the news that Fabiola Beracasa is working on her own "unscripted" television series, tips about other socialite-helmed projects continue to trickle in. While almost all women interviewed by The Daily have been loath to describe their projects as "reality," the shows in question almost universally favor a documentary approach to the glossy goings-on of the frequently photographed.

Most recently, the fashion world has been buzzing about rumors that Tinsley Mortimer recently pitched a series to the CW about her life as a socialite divorcée. The network is said to have passed. "I am not pitching a show to the CW, but I have been approached by various production companies that would like to do a show with me," responded Mortimer, who is currently in the process of a divorce and is not currently working with an agent. "I would prefer not to do anything on TV that would discuss any details of these sort of family matters." She also clarified that the MTV show she filmed was a "contestant" versus a "reality" show. "For this pilot, I was merely picked as a co-host," she explained, "And it was due to the nature of the contest that the show was not picked up."

In fact, several networks have attempted to recreate the "it-girl" experience using a real-world cast of adult characters, but no projects have, so far, ended up on-screen. HBO was the first to develop the idea back in 2006 by developing a "Sex and the City"-style series, but as previously reported, the Carrie Bradshaw character (allegedly to be played by Annelise Peterson, who was then a publicist at Calvin Klein) backed out.

The Real Housewives of New York picked up the storyline but cultivated a campier, more comedic take on the subject. Producers canvassed a wide swath of the Upper East Side while casting for its second season, reportedly approaching everyone from Tatiana Platt to Debbie Bancroft. Kelly Killoren Bensimon was ultimately signed as the sixth star. 

To capitalize on Bravo's success, its competing networks--namely, the CW and Lifetime--are allegedly developing reality shows focused on young, working women in New York's glossiest industries. In April 2008, Lifetime announced the development of a reality series known as Project Pygmalion, in which women compete for a makeover to propel them into high society. That project is allegedly shelved for the time being, but a representative for Lifetime declined to comment on shows that are in development.

And as for Social Heights? Kristian Laliberte has dropped out of the show he began filming with Annabel Vartanian and Social Life editor Devorah Rose. But Vartanian and Rose, along with relatively recent additions Daniel and Derek Koch, have signed a development deal with ABC/Disney, and the project is described as "very much alive."

Meanwhile, the CW is said to be be interested in a reality show focused on, among others, Ali Wise, who recently gained notoriety as Manhattan's hautest hacker. "The CW has no comment," said a representative for the network, referring to all these alleged developments.
ASHLEY BAKER




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