The ten one-hour episodes will follow five students at the School for Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA) in Cincinnati, OH. Each episode will boast songs and dance routines created by the cast.
The cast includes Jasmine, "a prima ballerina who dreams of attending New York performing arts conservatory The Juilliard School after graduating from SCPA"; Mia, "a singer-songwriter whose talent is matched only by her drive"; Tyler, a "gifted hip-hop dancer ... new to SCPA where he joins his little brother Chris (also a dancer and already a student) and attracts attention from everyone at the school"; Malik, "Jasmine's best friend [who] leads the school's only hip-hop dance group, The Definition . . . [and] is also a talented choreographer and a singer/songwriter; and Shaakira, "a dancer and aspiring actress, [who is also] an accomplished ballet dancer . .. but prefers hip-hop dance and is an integral member of Malik's team."
"While they are some of the most talented teenagers in the country," state press notes for "Taking the Stage," "they will still have to navigate the same trials and insecurities that all teenagers face which are obstacles that threaten their chances at success. The enormous pressure to make good grades, demanding rehearsal schedules, changing friendships and first loves, will keep them striving to find balance. As these rising stars pursue their goals, cameras will be there to capture the ups and downs, the adulations and tears, and that moment when they risk it all to take the stage and claim it as their own."
In a statement Tony DiSanto, head of MTV Programming, said, "'Taking The Stage' is an entirely new genre of television for us... the reality musical drama. It has heart, emotion, real stakes, and music organically woven in to the stories as the method of expression for this amazing group of kids. Their stories are captivating as they work hard to realize their dreams while going through all the trials of their senior year of high school. The talent of this cast is inspiring and we are thrilled to partner with Nick Lachey on a series we are incredibly proud of."
Co-creator Lachey added, "I spent my formative years at SPCA, so I know first hand what a fantastic yet often intense environment it can be. This show is a great journey for me both personally and professionally. It's provided me with an opportunity to step behind the camera and get into development and producing as well as put a spotlight on the great city of Cincinnati and my alma mater." Other SCPA alum include Sarah Jessica Parker, Carmen Electra, Todd Luiso and Rocky Carroll. Wicked's Marc Platt is the show's executive producer.
For more information visit http://takingthestage.mtv.com.