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by Kimberly Nordyke - The Hollywood Reporter - Ben Silverman has sold a fashion design competition show to his former network NBC, with supermodel-turned-fashion designer Elle MacPherson attached to host.
NBC -- where Silverman previously served as the top programmer -- on Monday will announce that it has picked up Fashion Star, an unscripted primetime series from Silverman's production company Electus, people close to the show confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter.
A total of 10 hourlong episodes are planned of the elimination-style series, which is targeted for a 2012 premiere. The winner will receive a multimillion-dollar contract to have a new fashion line featured in top retail stores.
Unlike on Lifetime's similarly themed Project Runway, designers will create more accessible fashions, Silverman told the New York Times, which first reported the news. In addition, the show will include a twist whereby each week, viewers can buy the designs created by the contestants -- even the losers -- online. NBC will receive a portion of those sales.
Production company Magical Elves, which worked on Project Runway before it moved to Lifetime from NBC corporate sibling Bravo, also will produce.
As the Times points out, Paul Telegdy, NBC executive vp in charge of reality programming, previously reported to Silverman while he was as co-chairman of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios. Meanwhile, Silverman and Robert Greenblatt, NBC's current entertainment chief, go back, as Silverman sold The Tudors to Showtime when Greenblatt oversaw programming there.
After a rocky two-year tenure, Silverman stepped down in July 2009 to launch Electus with Internet mogul Barry Diller.
Since leaving his post, Silverman has maintained a credited presence at the network. He carries an executive producer title on NBC's top-rated comedy, The Office, and on its top-rated reality show, The Biggest Loser. He also sold a comedy pitch, Party People, to NBC late last year.