Cable TV

MTV US & MSN team for reality show created by students

MUMBAI: US broadcaster MTV's 24-hour college network mtvU in collaboration with MSN and Boston University (BU), will unveil Roller Palace.

This is a comedy pilot entirely created and produced by students of BU's Film and Television Department and the School of Theatre Arts at the College of Fine Arts.

The pilot is the culmination of a union between mtvU, MSN and BU and marks the completion of a nearly 15 month journey. In January 2005, students in BU's Advanced Television Writing course began pitching ideas and scripts to Professor Paul Schneider, a television director of shows such as Beverly Hills 90210 and Jag.

At the end of the semester, the best sitcom ideas were presented to celebrity judges including E! Networks president and CEO Ted Harbert, NBC comedy development head Cheryl Dolans, and Fox television president Gary Newman. When Roller Palace was selected as the consensus choice, the show's creators set off to develop, write, cast, produce and star in the original sitcom pilot.

Roller Palace is about a pampered Manhattan debutante whose father has just been jailed for insider trading and whose mother is planning to marry her high school sweetheart -- a New Jersey hot dog stand proprietor. The turn of
events flips the spoiled daughter's life upside down, leaving her stuck as a roller skating waitress on the Jersey Shore.

Production of the pilot was made possible by MSN, which also lent back-end tech support throughout the production process. BU students used MSN technology, including MSN Messenger, while casting, developing, shooting and editing the pilot, and organically integrated the MSN brand into the final project. Professor Paul Schneider commented, "The student crew on Roller Palace had a priceless opportunity to create a television pilot from scratch -- a demanding project that had all the challenges, complications and crises they will encounter in the professional world."

MSN branded content group manager Kathy Fiander "We are committed to helping college students and young people realise their dreams, and it's been a pleasure working with mtvU and BU to facilitate this innovative educational opportunity. We congratulate the BU students on their achievement and also feel they did a great job of capturing how MSN Messenger can help users stay connected to those that matter most."

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