SBJ/20090316/This Week's News

Sharapova leads way for potential MTV series

Maria Sharapova will serve as  executive producer of a  drama series for MTV that is loosely based on her life on the pro tennis tour, a well-placed source said.

MTV has agreed to the concept, but Sharapova, who is working on the project with her agent and screenwriters, must first produce a pilot that MTV agrees to, the source said. Sharapova in 2007 had an agreement with the CW network, but that deal fell apart with last year’s writers strike.

The drama would be loosely based
on the life of Sharapova (center).

MTV did not reply for comment. Sharapova’s agent, Max Eisenbud of IMG, declined to comment.

The proposed series would be mainly about the off-court life of a WTA Tour star, based on Sharapova, with very little tennis shown. Each episode would be one hour.

The women’s pro tour long has been seen as ripe for development of a drama or gossip-type show. The far-flung global circuit is littered with sponsor parties and tales of player romance with male counterparts on the ATP World Tour.

The Williams sisters in 2005 collaborated on a short-lived reality series that aired on ABC Family, and the 2004 movie “Wimbledon” explored off-court romance between two players during the tournament.

The Sharapova series would start with her character at age 16, which is a year before Sharapova won Wimbledon, so the series would not examine her early years. Sharapova arrived in Florida from Russia at age 7, was taken in at age 9 by the Bollettieri Tennis Academy and, with the Wimbledon win, became a star.

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