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September 30, 2009

Flavor Flav seeks return to reality; talks VH1 scandal


That clock around Flavor Flav's neck says it's time to return to reality TV.

The original basic-cable ladies man is teaming with producer Eric Ortner to shop a new series to networks in which he returns to high school to receive his diploma.

Flav (or as he was known in school, William Drayton) says he dropped out in the 10th grade.

"I just want to show the world it's never too late to get your diploma, and show kids they should stay in school and not wait until you're old to get it," Flav said. "Everybody sees me as this big love mogul. Now I got a baby girl, I've been there and done that and now it's time for the next episode."

Producers say they've found a high school that will cooperate with the show's concept of having a middle-age man return to school. 

"He wants to go back and join the football team," Ortner said. "He's had all this great success and fame and fortune and he's seen his kids graduate and it's something he hasn't done."

If the format is sold to a network and draws viewers, Flav plans to continue the show beyond high school and attend college.

Flav starred in VH1's "The Surreal Life," "Strange Love" and in three seasons on the popular dating show "Flavor of Love" that set ratings records for the network. Flav left the dating show and settled down with a woman that he met outside the show.

"Flavor of Love" then spawned spinoffs like "Rock of Love" and "I Love Money" that recently ran into controversy when a contestant, Ryan Jenkins, was accused of murder.

Hearing the news about Jenkins "really broke my heart," Flav said. "It's really messed up, love can make you and love can break you. This guy definitely couldn't handle it."

With VH1 looking to move away from lurid dating shows, Ortner -- who would executive produce the show with Ethan Goldman and Michael Hirschorn -- thinks the timing is right for Flav to return with a new format.

"It's perfect timing to change the type of show he was going to do and be more message-driven," Ortner said, noting the project was in the works before the Jenkins scandal.

"I've been known to be a leader and I've had a lot of followers and there's a certain franchise I've set up on VH1," Flav said. "This show can be big enough to change the direction of reality shows."

Flav is repped by Eric Wattenberg, an agent at N.S. Bienstock.


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