MTV, Hearst Team on 'Project Seventeen’

MTV: Music Television and Hearst Magazines are teaming for a project that should be of interest to teens.

Viacom Inc.’s music and youth culture network and Hearst, the publisher of Seventeen magazine, will begin production later this month on a new reality series, Project Seventeen, slated to hit the air this fall, according to executives from both companies.

The 10-installment show will chronicle the magazine’s search for the girl who most deserves the title of “America’s Sweetheart.”

The collaboration between the youth-targeted vehicles extends a relationship that is already manifest on newsstands and mailboxes around the country: Seventeen’s April issue carries an MTV theme throughout its pages, featuring exclusive interviews with network talent and celebrities, beauty secrets of today’s stars and information about the service’s new series. The current edition of Seventeen — the princess of teen magazines with some 13 million monthly readers — also includes news about the upcoming reality show.

The winner of the show will receive a prize package that includes a college scholarship, a paid internship at the magazine and having her face on the cover of America’s biggest-selling teen magazine.

Casting calls for the new series will take place this spring in cities across the country, with exact times, dates and locations to be announced shortly.

“MTV is the perfect partner for a reality show with Seventeen because both brands talk to today’s young audience with the same successful mix of real-life honesty,” said Hearst Magazines president Cathleen Black in a statement. “Bringing the pages of Seventeen to life with one of today’s most respected and popular television networks for young people is a very exciting project.”

Added Lois Curren, executive vice president, series entertainment at MTV, in a statement:

“Since our viewers look to MTV for access and a behind-the-scenes perspective to the real world, we can’t wait to capture the drama and excitement of what it takes to be a Seventeen cover model, We are confident that this will be a series that is completely entertaining — and empowering — to our joint audiences.”

Curren will serve as executive producer, along with Rod Aissa and Greg Johnson. Jessica Samet and Drew Tappon will work as co-executives in charge of production on the project. Collectively, this team has worked on Punk’d, Newlyweds and Real World for MTV. Atoosa Rubenstein is executive producer and creator of the series for Seventeen.