VH1 adds reality, docs

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VH1 is mixing up reality and documentary formats for its latest
original-programming slate.

With its own twist on American Idol-type reality, Destination Diva:
The Search for a Superstar
, VH1 will hunt for undiscovered divas and
introduce the "ultimate diva" on its annual VH1 Divas musical special in
May.

Destination Diva bows April 14.

VH1 is also branching out its subjects to include movies and pop culture,
including another new series, Behind the Movies, an offspring of VH1's
franchise series, Behind the Music, set for a February debut.

Brian Graden, president of entertainment for VH1 and MTV: Music Television, said he usually dislikes spinoffs because "a lot of things are overplayed." But Movies, he
added, "has a natural fit to the brand."

Unlike sister network MTV, which cycles in new series all of the time, VH1's new
slate heavily favors specials.

Many of the upcoming specials will be first-person documentaries, like
Shania: What's It Like, a one-hour show on singer Shania Twain's latest
tour (debuts Feb. 13), and Karaoke Dreams, following six of America's most
devoted karaoke singers (March 2).

Graden said, "This is another way to get at subject matter in a way that we
haven't done."

VH1's ratings have pepped up recently. The network averaged a 0.5 in prime
time for January, up from a 0.3 in January 2002.

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