Sean ”P. Diddy” Combs, who’s made a career out of sampling other people’s material on record, doesn’t want you to think he’s doing the same thing on the tube, even though he is starring in a reality show for MTV, the network that brought you ”The Osbournes.” Combs and MTV announced today that the network is building a season of reality series ”Making the Band” around Combs, who will oversee the creation of a hip-hop crew over the course of 10 episodes, starting Oct. 12.
MTV made a point of distancing the Diddy show from its other celebrity-reality hit. ”This is not ‘The Osbournes’ in P. Diddy’s house,” MTV exec John Miller said at a New York press conference today. Rather, the show will be all about work. ”It gives me a chance to have it clear to people what I do,” Combs said at the press conference. ”That I just don’t throw white parties in the Hamptons every day. That I do work 20 hours a day and I am good at what I do.”
The first season of ”Making the Band,” which originated on ABC and played in reruns on MTV, tracked the creation of O-Town, who went on to double-platinum success. But the new edition of ”Making the Band” will focus as much on the Svengali as on his handpicked crew. ”This show will be a wild ride, no tricks or gimmicks, just P. Diddy reality,” Combs said. ”I have been creating stars since I was 19, and this show will give insight into what it takes to be at the top.”
MTV will hold auditions in various cities between July 22 and Aug. 11 to pick 20 finalists to travel to New York. Combs will winnow these down to eight finalists, who will then try for record contracts under his watch. The show will reveal ”all of P. Diddy’s thoughts, criticisms and final decisions,” the network said in a statement, and will grant viewers ”total access throughout the entire process, from casting and selection to recording and final evaluation.” (Think of him as a hip-hop Simon from ”American Idol.”) Audiences will get an occasional glimpse into Combs’ daily life, or as the network puts it, a ”VIP backstage pass into the life of P. Diddy as a businessman, successful producer, and artist, and will learn what he looks for when scouting talent and forming a group.”
Meanwhile, MTV’s sister channel VH1 acknowledged earlier this week that it has discussed with newlyweds Liza Minnelli and David Gest the possibility of building a reality series around them. And E!, in an admitted ”Osbournes” cop, is set to debut its reality series featuring Anna Nicole Smith on Aug. 4.