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MGM Rebooting 'Fame' As A Scripted TV Series

by Tambay A. Obenson
August 28, 2012 2:03 PM
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The 1980 Alan Parker MGM musical film already spawned a television series and spin-off, a stage musical, a reality TV competition series, and a 2009 film. But MGM apparently isn't through with Fame yet.

The studio's TV arm is teaming with American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance executive producer Nigel Lythgoe, to launch a scripted series based on the original film, and previous TV series.

The producers are calling it a re-imagining of the first film and TV series. Here's how they describe this reboot:

Set against the backdrop of today’s unprecedented access to the world of celebrity, it will expose the gritty struggle, heartache and pain endured in the search for stardom.

So, unlike the original, this new TV series probably won't follow the lives of the students and faculty at the New York City High School for the Performing Arts. 

Also, no word on whether it'll include a mix of drama and music, like the original.

Serving as executive producers on the upcoming project will be Nigel Lythgoe Productions president Kary McHoul, Lythgoe himself, Segars Media’s Charles Segars and Chad Gutstein.

The popularity of the first TV series, in the early 1980s, led to several hit records and live concert tours by the cast. It ran for 6 seasons, won a number of Emmy awards. Of note, Debbie Allenwho had a small role in the original 1980 film, but played a major character in the TV series that followed, was nominated for Emmys in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series category, 4 years in a row; but she never won.

She was also nominated several times for Outstanding Achievement in Choreography, which she won twice. She also won a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a TV-Series - Comedy/Musical.

Might we see "re-imagined" versions of Coco (Irene Cara), Leroy (Gene Anthony Ray), and all the other notables?

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  • Ashley lewis | August 30, 2012 3:15 PMReply

    How can I audition?

  • Angry Black Auteur | August 28, 2012 6:20 PMReply

    Sound that was almost a direct copy of Charlie Wilson ( from the Gap Band). Somewhere I. Chicago, a fledgling musical artist who would go on to make massive music hits and a widely seen video that would inspire Dave Chappelle's Piss On You Remix. copied Aaron Hall's signature sound so perfectly that when now non-relevant Hall performed people said he sounded like R. Kelly , needless to say now I think he trains attack dogs in Calabasas.

    Please don't do it young stupid and desperate MGM executives you missed the boat, Remember you redid the movie it tanked, I think if you go to Walmart you can buy the combo of the new Fame and The New Footloose and Walmart will give a 6 pack of knockoff Hanes boxer shorts and a bag of cheese puff's just for taking those two stinkers out of their inventory.

    Save your money, invest in new ideas like your predecessors did who found and developed the original fame....

    Or don't listen to me and stack this new unwatchable crap with The New Knight Rider, The New Charlies Angels, Archie Bunker's Place, and those 5 existing episodes of Grady.

  • Donella | August 29, 2012 12:04 PM

    *collapsing into laughter*

  • Angry Black Auteur | August 28, 2012 6:11 PMReply

    Please, Please, Please, ( in my best James Brown impersonation) DON'T!

    It's already been done, it's called GLEE. They took your concept and flipped it on its ear now making this concept as Relevant as Aaron Hall.

    Who's Aaron Hall? During the New Jack Swing Era ( around the time New Jack City came out) there was producer named Teddy Riley who came out with a super R&B group named guy- they were so talented that they produced one amazing album, and the roster that is pictured on the album is not even the same roster that went on tour- that's another story, so I digress...

    Aaron Hall had a distinctive sound, so distinctive it was a hipper, more relevant, and current ( at the time )

  • ALM | August 28, 2012 7:51 PM

    @ ABA: Aaron Hall, is that you? LOL!!!!!

  • Ava | August 28, 2012 6:02 PMReply

    I was a very little girl when the series was on TV and I did enjoy it in all its cheese-tastic glory (*ducks to dodge the inevitable stones being thrown) but as I have matured I liked the original film best (it has stood the test of time) and realize that each successive version thereafter has gotten progressively worse, especially the milquetoast movie re-make of a few years ago. Unless it's going to be filmed in NYC and bring back the grit and the grime of NYC's underbelly (which hardly exists in today's post Disneyfied NYC), then I say...just leave it alone.

  • Melissa | August 28, 2012 4:47 PMReply

    I only liked the theme song of the original, not the actual stilted show. The 2009 film flopped hard. This time around it will be very whitewashed, so I foresee not liking it. Yup. FAME has not really left any impression on me at any one point in my life. Wish them luck though...

  • Dee | August 28, 2012 3:41 PMReply

    NO...not again!

  • Charles Judson | August 28, 2012 2:55 PMReply

    "Set against the backdrop of today’s unprecedented access to the world of celebrity, it will expose the gritty struggle, heartache and pain endured in the search for stardom." I think a remake of FAME isn't a bad idea. The original show and film wasn't just about stardom, it was also about many things, including creative people struggling to find their own voice, old school teachers clashing with new music and changing times, with students learning to respect what came before, learning that your talent may not be enough, and balancing being a performer with being basically more a kid than an adult. It's the type of show that has a conceit that already lends itself to tackling stories from the POV a new generation who face different challenges. Will this FAME do that? Not sure. The original show and film felt very authentic, I'm curious if the new version will capture that same vibe or will it ultimately be more GLEE like. I'd actually like to see this be more an HBO type show that allows them to push the envelope with the stories they'd cover.

  • Nicole | August 28, 2012 6:37 PM

    I was totally against this until I read Charles' comment. If they can make this HBO-ish with real grit like the original movie, this maybe watchable. Otherwise it will be Glee 2.0. And who wants that?

  • ALM | August 28, 2012 2:44 PMReply

    I see the mention of Ms. Allen's awards/nominations, but will she be participating in the new show?

  • Darkan | August 28, 2012 2:17 PMReply

    Really Hollywood..? I thought that's what Glee was. An off take of fame. How many times...? SMDH!!!

  • Priss | August 28, 2012 2:04 PMReply

    So, I take this to mean all the new ideas have run out completely and we're just going to keep rehashing and rehashing and rehashing and...

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