Television

Mark Burnett, MSN renew interactive relationship for CBS' 'Rock Star'

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MUMBAI: MSN will be renewing and enhancing its relationship with Mark Burnett Productions by again providing exclusive programming online for the second season of CBS' Rock Star, the reality show that revived the fortunes of international rock band INXS. For the first time, weekly behind-the-scenes episodes containing
all original footage will be streamed exclusively on the web on MSN.

Following last year's success, MSN will again create dynamic content and provide interactive online features such as domestic and international online voting, extending the interactive experience for the CBS TV audience and MSN customers.

Just as in season one, four types of content will be available each week: extensive and immersive behind-the-scenes unscripted drama (produced exclusively for MSN); one performance show and one results show (both produced exclusively for CBS); and, like last year, extensive original wireless content. The MSN behind-the-scenes unscripted drama will allow viewers to learn what it takes for the contestants to choose their songs and prepare for their weekly performances, and follow the characters as they develop and grow under enormous pressure. It will be available at http://rockstar.msn.com, enabling on-demand viewing via streaming.

In addition, MSN will again host the official website, providing visitors with an experience through exclusive video footage that includes outtakes, the opportunity to replay contestant performances, music downloads, profiles of contestants, and MSN Spaces contestant blogs. During the show's first season, MSN drew a tremendous number of visitors streaming over 20 million clips of superstar hopefuls competing to become the new lead singer of INXS. Recordings by all finalists appeared in the top 100 most downloaded tracks on MSN Music, and more than 14 million votes were cast online for
contestants in the competition.

"MSN did a fabulous job of extending and enhancing the Rock Star experience for consumers with fantastic online content. Our TV ratings increased as viewers used MSN to learn more about the contestants and chat with other fans in forming opinions. They began to learn way more than is possible in a traditional TV experience. Fans were taken deep inside the competition using MSN's impressive array of online content properties. By increasing our online unscripted drama content and providing an even more immersive experience through behind-the-scenes episodes exclusive to MSN, we expect ratings to grow even further. In this day and age, content needs to be multiplatform, and I am excited about our growing relationship with MSN," said CBS Rock Star creator and executive producer Mark Burnett.

This year, a lead singer will be selected for a new band, Supernova, featuring famous musicians such as drummer Tommy Lee (Motley Crue), Jason Newsted (Metallica) and Gilby Clarke (Guns N' Roses). Butch Walker, Rolling Stone's 2005 "Hot" Producer of the Year responsible for the breakout albums of Pink and Avril Lavigne, is slated to produce the band's first album. Dave Navarro and Brooke Burke will return as hosts, and each week the series will feature guest appearances by various celebrities and rock personalities.

"We're delighted to again work with Mark Burnett and his team on Rock Star. Millions of music fans will have the digital equivalent of an all-access pass to the backstage excitement and suspense of the band's search for a lead singer. We welcome this opportunity to deliver an extraordinarily rich and varied entertainment experience to our customers and to once again provide advertisers with multiple platforms to reach a very attractive audience," said MSN general manager entertainment and video Rob Bennett.

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