*Cable channel Oxygen has put into development a docuseries following renowned ballerina Misty Copeland.
The show, tentatively titled “The Misty Copeland Project,” follows talented hopefuls from diverse backgrounds as they descend upon New York to take on the next major step in their ballet careers. Who better to train and mentor them than Copeland — the celebrated ballerina who herself has defied all odds and shattered boundaries by overcoming the cultural pressures of professional ballet.
Copeland, who began taking ballet lessons on the basketball court of a Boys & Girls Club at age 13 and was considered a prodigy, made history by becoming the second African-American female soloist in the prestigious American Ballet Theatre. With the opportunity of a lifetime and chance to catapult to the top of the ballet world, these aspiring dancers’ passion, commitment and hard work will be center stage in Misty’s Master Class.
The show is one of four new reality programs added at the NBCUniversal-owned network as part of its rebranded push for young, multicultural women ages 18-34, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Other new shows follow young Americans teaching English abroad, aspiring celebrity vloggers and groups of friends dishing about current events during cocktail hour.
“From the unbelievably inspirational and talented Misty Copeland, to the bold young women experiencing life abroad, the new development slate appeals to a multitude of female viewers,” said Cori Abraham, senior vp development and international at Oxygen Media. “These projects embrace the new Oxygen programming filter, which focuses on real characters who are on a journey to seek out new experiences and follow their true passions in life.”
Here’s a closer look at the other three projects in the works:
- “Teaching English” (working title)
Most Americans have never left the country, but for these millennials, this is where life truly begins. Whether it be the spontaneous decision to teach English to children in Singapore or to work at an international school in Russia, this adventurous project will follow a group of young Americans living abroad in countries where English is rarely heard. Fortunately, there are other fellow expats to rely on when the idea of “taking off” proves to be more difficult than expected. Whether it’s overcoming language barriers or potentially meeting “Mr. Right Where You’d Least Expect Him,” these are the truly epic stories of young people chasing their dreams.
- “Survival of the Clickiest” (working title)
With all the freedom, money and influence, it’s easy to see why being an online star is one of the most desired and competitive professions among millennials today. Some of the most powerful people in this million-dollar industry are fashion and beauty vloggers, who function like modern-day Carrie Bradshaws — using their platforms to gain inside access and influence their eager followers all with the click of a button. Produced in partnership with StyleHaul, the largest fashion and beauty multichannel network on YouTube with more than 165 million subscribers, this project will follow a group of young, budding online style stars each forging a path in the ultra-competitive world of vlogging. With no rules, no backup plans and plenty of haters, life outside the online bubble is never as glamorous as it seems as these emerging entrepreneurs juggle the demands of their followers, friends and family.
- “Straight Up With a Twist” (working title) Millennials will dish and divulge anything and everything — especially over a cocktail or two. Whether it’s discussing global warming, first-date blunders or the latest celebrity scandal, friends are constantly chatting about everything from pop culture to the true meaning of life. In this half-hour reality comedy, cameras will capture various groups of friends and their post-work bar debates. These hilarious conversations will be intertwined with quick-witted animations and sketches to give viewers one truly legendary Happy Hour.