Tyra Banks seems to be taking a lesson from entertainment greats like Cher and Madonna: If your initial concept isn’t working any longer, reinvent yourself.
Yesterday, CW President Mark Pedowitz announced that the network has ordered Cycle 20 of Bank’s reality show America’s Next Top Model. In a press release, the move was stated to be part of the CW’s on-going strategy to increase the amount of original summer programming. This latest Cycle will debut in summer 2013, with a specific premiere date to be announced at a later time.
The twist this time? Male models will be added to the group of contestants competing for the title, and they will be living in the house alongside female contestants.
This is an interesting and possibly delicious change for the long-running show. In the past, contestants on Top Model have stated how they felt cooped up living among so many fellow females. Bitchiness is often peaks fast and early. And, when men have been added into the mix to hang out or party with the ladies, it created a palpable sexual tension that sometimes threw the would-be models off their game.
Whether or not this addition turns ANTM into the new Big Brother-– except with incredibly attractive people– remains to be seen. However, it’s definitely a fun spin worth checking out.
Cycle 19, which is currently running and features the main cast in the image above, was filled with its own changes from previous seasons. Gone were longtime judge Nigel Barker, creative director Jay Manuel and model coach J. Alexander, and joining the cast was former boxer and international male supermodel Rob Evans as a judge; returning to the judging panel was fashion public relations maven Kelly Cutrone, who was a recent addition as well. Cycle 19 was also the first “College Edition” of ANTM, and a new social network component allowed viewers to weigh in on the models’ work and influence who stayed and left the show.
While viewers will continue to have a direct impact on the competition in Cycle 20 by voting for their favorite models though social media, there is no word yet on who will be judging.