- - Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Move over, “Project Runway” and “Fashion Star.” There’s a new — make that old — style show hitting to the catwalk this fall to reclaim the fascination of a new generation of fashionistas.

MTV announced Tuesday the decision to revamp its iconic series “House of Style” starting Oct. 9. Exploring the cutting edge of fashion in today’s media-savvy market, “House of Style” will be featured exclusively on the MTV Style digital platform, but also will include crossover content for TV. The refurbished program promises to “highlight the humor and personality of leaders and taste makers in the industry.”

” ‘House of Style’ is deeply rooted in celebrating and drawing energy from our audience’s mix-and-match love of fashion, music and pop culture,” said Dave Sirulnick, executive vice president of MTV News and Docs.

The original show, which ran for 78 episodes from 1989 to 1999, chronicled the inner workings of the fashion industry from haute couture by designers such as Todd Oldham and John Galliano to the meteoric rise of fashion models such as Cindy Crawford, Rebecca Romijn and Molly Simms.

With the creation of MTV style channel in 2010, viewers and industry insiders began peppering the network with requests to restore “House of Style” to its former glory. Staffers began to unearth the original archives, including 150 still photos and 170 video segments previously unreleased. This body of work has been complied into an impressive digital collection with images of Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour, award-winning designer Marc Jacobs and singer-turned-fashion designer Gwen Stefani.

“The landscape has changed, but the common threads of humor behind the scenes of fashion and the DIY spirit are universal,” said MTV Digital Vice President of Production Sophia Rai. “Now it’s more about how to tell the story using social media tools.”

The new host of House of Style will be revealed during the red carpet show of the MTV Video Music Awards on Sept. 6.

Cowell on ‘X Factor’ judges: Britney, ‘mean’; Lovato, ‘brat’

Britney Spears and Demi Lovato are the tough cookies on “The X Factor,” according to series creator Simon Cowell.

With the new “X Factor” judges at his side Monday, the reliably acerbic Mr. Cowell said that Ms. Spears is “quite mean” and Ms. Lovato is “a brat.” But, Mr. Cowell added, he long has wanted to work with Ms. Spears and said “there’s really something likeable” about Ms. Lovato.

The pop stars are joining “X Factor” for its second season.

Ms. Spears and Ms. Lovato replace judges Paula Abdul and Nicole Scherzinger, who left after the show’s debut year fell short of the spectacular ratings Mr. Cowell forecast. Antonio “L.A.” Reid and Mr. Cowell will return as judges.

With taping under way in Miami, the “X Factor” panel spoke to a Beverly Hills, Calif., meeting of the Television Critics Association by satellite. Earlier Monday, Fox announced that Mr. Cowell’s former stomping ground, “American Idol,” had hired Mariah Carey as a judge for next year.

Ms. Spears was asked why she decided to join “X Factor,” which is paying her a reported $15 million.

“I feel like being able to be on a show where you can give back and help people achieve their dream is just really interesting to me. … It’s different from anything I’ve ever done,” she said.

The 19-year-old Ms. Lovato was queried about her concerns for younger contestants confronted with fame.

In 2011, the singer-actress entered rehab for what were termed “emotional and physical issues.” She said that as a child who faced bullying, she had an eating disorder and later started cutting her wrists to vent her despair.

Ms. Lovato said she takes that issue into consideration as a judge and in regard to her younger sister, Madison, whom she said she worries about but is “doing great.” Madison, 10, played the daughter of Eva Longoria’s character on ABC’s “Desperate Housewives.”

But the perils of fame can be overblown, Ms. Lovato said.

“It adds some pressures, sometimes it makes the problem a little bit worse. … But for me, I had been struggling with those issues before,” she said. “Unless you’re in a good place when you start working, I think it’s kind of it’s inevitable for these things will happen.”

‘American Idol’ audition bus to make small-town stops

“American Idol” is planning stops in some smaller cities in search of singing talent for its 12th season.

The Fox television show’s website said the new “Small Town Audition Bus Tour” is scheduled to make stops in Idaho Falls, Idaho; Billings, Mont.; and Casper, Wyo., as part of a 10-city tour that starts next month.

The dates, times and locations are to be announced.

Small-town auditions are scheduled in Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Kansas and Colorado, as well.

The show also is taking nominations for people who may not think of trying out, and it’s accepting online video submissions for two weeks, starting Aug. 1.

‘Weekend Update Thursday’ added to NBC lineup

NBC has plans for more “Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Thursday.” The mouthful of a spinoff, which famously helped introduce Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin impersonation during the 2008 presidential election, has been added to the network’s prime-time schedule for Sept. 20 and 27.

Though no talent was announced during NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt’s presentation during the Television Critics Association summer press tour, it’s assumed that “SNL” head writer and Weekend Update anchor Seth Meyers will take lead.

“I’m really in love with the job I have,” Mr. Meyers recently said in a Hollywood Reporter interview. “I’m very excited to be going back [to ‘SNL’] for the election season, which is always fun.”

Premiering in Oct. 2008, and featuring cameos from Will Ferrell, Bill Murray and Ms. Fey, the original “Weekend Update Thursday” scored huge ratings for NBC. The opener pulled in 10.9 million viewers.

When it returned for another brief run the following autumn, without an election to bolster interest, it wrapped its run with 5 million viewers. Plans for a short spring run in 2010 were scrapped.

Compiled from Web and wire reports

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