Showtime Documentary: High School Musical, Reality-Style

Looking to capitalize on the obvious viewer appeal of high school musicals (think Disney Channel), Showtime is teaming up with Lionsgate and Spitfire Pictures for a reality take on the genre.

The three companies are producing a documentary on the "cutthroat world of high-school musicals in southern Indiana," a region better known for the cutthroat world of high-school basketball.

From the pen of Barry Blaustein (Beyond the Mat), who will also direct and produce, the doc will look at three high schools spending "tens of thousands" of dollars in a competition to be chosen to compete in an international festival.

Spitfire’s Nigel Sinclair (No Direction Home: Bob Dylan) will co-produce, with Spitfire’s Guy East and Tobin Armbrust executive producers.

Robert Greenblatt, president of entertainment at Showtime, has a particular affinity for the subject. In announcing the show, he pointed out that he worked behind the scenes in musicals at his own Rockford, Ill., high school.

Lionsgate will get worldwide distribution of the film, which is targeted for a 2008 debut on Showtime.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.