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American Media's Reality Show Nearly a Reality

Casting Call Planned for Next Week for 'One Park Avenue'

By Published on . 0

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- American Media is this close to finally green-lighting a pilot of "One Park Avenue," the reality show about staffers at magazines such as Star and Men's Fitness, and is in discussions to air it on Lifetime.
David Pecker
David Pecker Credit: Darryl Estrine

An in-office casting call is planned for next Tuesday and Wednesday, when producer Star Price, who is developing the show, will choose probably five to eight staffers to be main characters.

American Media's CEO David Pecker has been hunting for a way onto TV for years, and AMI execs told Advertising Age in 2003 that it planned to pitch a show based on Star magazine that would compete with the likes of "Access Hollywood" and "Entertainment Tonight."

That didn't work out, and chances for "One Park Avenue" have looked dark at times too. Originally slated to start shooting around six months ago -- there was even a casting call late last winter -- the show was delayed by negotiations over details and couldn't even be shopped to networks.

Bonnie Fuller on Lifetime
With those hurdles apparently overcome, Lifetime has emerged as the likely home for the pilot, leading some to wonder how Bonnie Fuller will compare to the protagonists of classic Lifetime TV movies. Will Ms. Fuller -- often the subject of brickbats from former employees and the press and for better or worse the face of American Media -- come off as chronically abused but unable to abandon her enormous salary? Or will she play the abuser, tormenting her staff by expecting them to match her intensity?

The truth is Ms. Fuller undoubtedly will appear in the show, which is being positioned as a "docu-soap," but is unlikely to play a big role. In fact, the odds-on favorite to break out on "One Park Avenue" is not a woman at all, but Neal Boulton, editor in chief of Men's Fitness.

American Media and Lifetime declined to comment. Star Price Productions, whose shows have been nominated for four Emmy awards, did not return a call seeking comment by press time.
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