Private Launches 3 New Reality Shows

Jeff Berg
BARCELONA, Spain — Private Media Group Inc. announced three additional follow-up shows to their “Private Stars” reality television program today, where men from around the world compete for a spot in the company’s adult films.

Private’s announcement comes after the show was ranked in the top two shows of 2004 on the Bravo network and received a one-third share of total adult viewers, according to United Kingdoms-based research group Broadcasters Audience Research Board LTD.

“’Private Stars’” controversial and novel format led to high expectations for this program,” said Private spokesman Marten Kull. “It has beaten all of them and viewer feedback has been phenomenal.”

The pilot show featured five ordinary men from South Africa, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States along with five of Private’s adult film actresses who were filmed 24 hours a day and required to perform X-rated scenes.

Each day, contestants were judged by the female stars, the movie’s producers and the viewing audience on a variety of scales, including personality, behavior and sexual prowess. Those found lacking are voted off and the final contestant is awarded a contract with an adult entertainment producer.

“The reality show format is a proven formula in today’s television landscape,” Private President and CEO Berth Milton. “While this type of formula often features strong elements of sex, ‘Private Stars’ is the real thing.”

The three new shows will build on the pilot’s premise and allow for new technologies, including viewer polling by cell phone.

Auditions for the new shows are currently being held and filming is scheduled to begin as early as Oct. 4.

The show sparked controversy in Britain, with politicians and media watchdog groups singling it out as yet another step in the wrong direction for British television.

“Once you let standards slip you lose them altogether,” said Ann Widdecombe, a member of the British Parliament. “Producers then compete with each other to see who can go on to the next level. Some of the things you see on television today would have been unthinkable just a few years ago.”

A spokeswoman for Bravo, whose shows include “Italian Stripping Housewives” and “3001: A Sex Oddity,” said that the channel was still committed to limiting the amount of explicit content on its network.