- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 30, 2009

More reality on VH1

VH1 has given the green light to three new series starring pseudonymous talent.

TLC’s Chilli, Salt n’ Pepa’s Pepa and Frank Maresca — aka the Entertainer — from “I Love New York” and “I Love Money” will star in new shows for the network in 2010, Broadcastingcable.com reports.

VH1 also has ordered a second season of “Sober House” with Dr. Drew Pinsky and a seventh season of “Celebrity Fit Club,” the industry Web site notes.

The untitled Pepa series is being billed as a “real-life comedy” following Sandra “Pepa” Dalton as she searches for love after four years of celibacy. VH1 has picked up eight half-hour episodes of the series.

“The Chilli Project” (working title) will feature the former TLC star searching for love with the help of relationship expert Tionna Smalls. The network has ordered eight half-hour episodes of the program, which is from FremantleMedia North America.

“The Entertainer” will use a format similar to those seen on the network’s other dating shows, bringing together a group of young bachelorettes as they woo Mr. Maresca, attempt to win his heart and help him move out of his parents’ basement. VH1 has ordered 10 one-hour episodes, B&C says.

A farewell to Ed

You didn’t have to search far to find stars paying tribute to Ed McMahon on Sunday, notes E! Online.

The memorial service for “The Tonight Show’s” second banana, who died June 23, was held at the Church of the Hills at Forest Lawn Memorial-Parks and Mortuaries in the Hollywood Hills and included more than 200 friends and family members; Mr. McMahon’s wife, Pamela; his five children; and his grandchildren, “Entertainment Tonight” reports.

Natalie Cole performed her song “Smile” alongside David Foster, who also accompanied former “Star Search” winner Nita Whitaker. Tony Danza, Jimmy Kimmel and Johnny Carson’s widow, Joanna Carson, also attended.

The ceremony concluded with a thundering standing ovation for the late television icon, E! Online said.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports

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