‘Interscope Presents: The Next Episode’.. the six part series loosely described as a reality version of the rap contests in the movie 8 Mile, ‘The Next Episode’ will follow the trials and triumphs of undiscovered rappers from across America struggling to become the country’s top MC.
Santa Monica, CA – August 7, 2003: The excitement of hip-hop comes to television this fall with the premiere of a six-part reality series called INTERSCOPE PRESENTS ‘THE NEXT’ on SHOWTIME. Loosely described as a reality version of the rap contests in the movie 8 Mile, ‘The Next’ will follow the trials and triumphs of undiscovered rappers from across America struggling to become the country’s top MC.
“This show allows young hip-hop artists to compete in a way that is most true to the art form, and through that get a real opportunity.” says Jimmy Iovine, Chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M. Iovine is executive producing along with Jillian Fleer of 4Battle Enterprises and Paul Rosenberg (Goliath Artists/Shady Records), Randy Sosin, and Gene Kirkwood.
“Jimmy Iovine and Interscope Records have been at the forefront of hip-hop and have discovered some of the most talented artists out there…we are thrilled to be in business with them,” says Robert Greenblatt, Showtime’s new President of Entertainment “and the freedom of premium cable television will allow us to depict this world as real and uncensored as possible. It will be exciting to discover America’s next top MC.”
Directed by Moses Edinborough (Yo! MTV Raps), Interscope Presents ‘The Next’ will also tell the untold hip-hop history of major cities as revealed by local legends and famed rappers, including 50 Cent, Joe Budden, Wyclef, Clipse, Big Tigger, Nate Dogg, Bonecrusher, Gang Starr and Loon.
The first five one-hour episodes will showcase two MCs who have been handpicked from hundreds of people hoping to get a chance to showcase their skills in their respective city – Atlanta, Los Angeles, Detroit, Philadelphia and New York. Each episode will culminate in a rap battle in front of peers, with special guest DJs and MCs officiating. The local winner will then be determined by the audience. The five winners will then gather for a final one-hour national showdown episode in Los Angeles.
Production on the ‘The Next’ started July 21 in Atlanta. Pearlena Igbokwe and Jae Kim are the Creative Executives for Showtime Networks Inc. Negotiating the deal for Showtime was David Stern and for Interscope it was Rand Hoffman.
Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Viacom Inc., owns the premium television networks SHOWTIME®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ and FLIX®, as well as the multiplex channels SHOWTIME® TOO™, SHOWTIME® SHOWCASE, SHOWTIME EXTREME®, SHOWTIME BEYOND®, SHOWTIME NEXT®, SHOWTIME WOMEN®, SHOWTIME FAMILYZONE® and TMC xtra. SNI also offers SHOWTIME HDTV®, SHOWTIME ON DEMAND® and THE MOVIE CHANNEL ON DEMAND™. SNI operates and manages the premium television network SUNDANCE CHANNEL®, which is owned by SNI, Robert Redford and Universal Studios. All SNI feeds provide enhanced sound using Dolby Digital 5.1. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME® PPV. Additionally, the advertiser-supported television network SHOWTIME EXTREME® is available in Spain through a joint venture with Media Park and the advertiser-supported television network SHOWTIME is available in Turkey through a joint venture with UK-based Zone Vision.