WB's 'Surreal' Nets Hammer a Deal
Mon Feb 10,12:37 AM ET
By Michael Schneider
HOLLYWOOD (Variety) - It's Hammer Time again.
Rapper-cum-reality star MC Hammer, who's re-entered the public spotlight thanks to his stint on "The Surreal Life, " has sealed a blind script deal at the WB.
Hammer, who recently signed with Endeavor for representation, would star in a half-hour sitcom based on his present family life. Renegade Prods., which produces "The Surreal Life" for the WB, is also behind the Hammer script.
"Surreal Life," which airs Thursdays on the WB, features B-level celebs including Hammer, Emmanuel Lewis, Corey Feldman and Vince Neil all living together for 10 days in the Hollywood hills.
"MC became a father figure in the ('Surreal Life') house with everybody," said Jay Renfroe, who is partnered in Renegade with David Garfinkle. "He was a mentor to everyone. David and I looked at each other and said, 'This guy has to have his own show."'
Hammer, who's won three Grammy Awards and eight American Music Awards, has focused on religion in recent years, having become an ordained minister. He frequently appears on the Trinity Broadcasting Network preaching the Gospel.
"His charisma is unbelievable," Garfinkle said. "He's got so much presence."
Hammer's string of hits include the 1990 album "Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em," which sold 17 million copies and included the single "U Can't Touch This." Hammer's crotchless parachute pants, as seen in a number of his music videos, became the stuff of pop culture legend.
Hammer's also known for his rebound after a bout with bankruptcy in the mid-1990s, documented by one of VH1's most popular "Behind the Music" segments. The rapper will release a new CD, "The Greatest Dancer," sometime this year.