Monday, May 10, 2010

Nick will miss 'Taking the Stage'


By John Kiesewetter • • May 9, 2010

When MTV canceled "Taking the Stage" last week, co-creator Nick Lachey was philosophical: "These things happen."

In a guarded conversation, the 1992 School for Creative & Performing Arts graduate admitted he didn't like some changes MTV made for the second and final season, which ended April 15.

MTV cut it to 30 minutes from an hour and moved it from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m., when many SCPA students were in bed.

"I wasn't in favor of the half-hour (format), or the 11 p.m. time slot," he says. "But at the end of the day, to make a few concessions to keep the show on the air (this year) were the right decisions."

He did not discuss MTV's casting. Six of the stars this year were transfer students new to SCPA.

The former College Hill resident said he tried "every way possible" to get MTV to order a third season showing SCPA's new $72-million Central Parkway building.

"We know the decision wasn't an easy one," says Lachey, who filmed another Cincinnati Bell TV commercial on Fountain Square Monday.

Lachey first pitched the series to a previous MTV regime. He praised MTV "for sticking with it," shooting two pilots, and airing two seasons.

A MTV official said Wednesday the network was "incredibly proud of the show. And we're very grateful to the city and schools to let us in and have so much access."

Under MTV's 2007 contract with Cincinnati Public Schools, the network paid $10,000 per episode and had rights to shoot six seasons.

Lachey said "Taking the Stage" accomplished all of his goals. It raised SCPA's profile, increased enrollment and made Cincinnati look beautiful to MTV's audience.

"We restocked the talent at the school. We showed the beauty of Over-the-Rhine and the city's incredible architecture," he says.

MTV showed "just how special that school is, and has given some students there the rare opportunity to... expose their talents to the world. I attribute a lot of (my) success to my personal experience in that school," he says.