Steve Martin and the producers of “The Real World” and “The Cosby Show” are getting together to send a deserving high school student to college — via an unscripted TV series.
ABC has given the green light to a show tentatively titled “The Scholar,” which will give 15 high school seniors a chance to win a free education at a top university. Martin and producing partner Joan Stein will serve as executive producers with Jon Murray (“The Real World”), Marcy Carsey and Tom Werner (“The Cosby Show,” “That ’70s Show”).
The show would take place on a college campus, with the contestants being put through a series of academic, leadership and other challenges, the Hollywood trade papers report. Jaye Pace, Shannon Meairs and Waxman Williams Entertainment are credited with the original idea for the show.
“Every student in this country should be entitled to a college education,” Martin and Stein say in a statement. “With this show, we intend to empower both students and parents with the knowledge that a higher education is realistic and attainable for everyone.”
“The Scholar” also fits with other ABC unscripted shows — such as the two “Extreme Makeover” series — that emphasize wish fulfillment, says Andrea Wong, head of alternative programming at the network. The show could be ready to air by the spring.