America’s Next Top Model (ANTM) may live to “smize” another day. Deadline reports that the long-running reality show competition, now in its 22nd “cycle,” may be headed to a new network or streaming service, despite the recent news that it had been cancelled by The CW.
— B. Scott (@lovebscott) November 5, 2015
America’s Next Top Model is the brainchild of veteran runway and print model Tyra Banks. She recently made the announcement via Twitter that ANTM would be packing up its high heels and leaving television.
“TYRA MAIL! Thinking #ANTM22 should be our last cycle. I truly believe it’s time. May your pics be forever fierce. Keep on Smizing!” Banks said in the tweet.
She had even more to say about the ANTM cancellation on Instagram.
“I set out to create a show where Perfect is Boring. So I hope you continue to love your freckles, your moles, your big forehead, your big eyes, your small eyes, your pointy chin, your tiny boobs, your full chest, your ivory or ebony skin (or every color in between) – the stuff about you that makes you well…you.”
But as the article on Deadline reports, cancelled doesn’t always really mean cancelled in the world of TV production.
According to the article, the push for a new cycle of ANTM came almost immediately after the CW cancellation was announced. Ken Mock, America’s Next Top Model executive producer and showrunner, started receiving calls from other networks and streaming services who were interested in grabbing up ANTM. Mock put together a pitch and will reportedly be presenting it to interested buyers this week.
America’s Next Top Model has a couple of great things going for it, writes Nellie Andreeva for Deadline. The reality show has fared well when past seasons have been shown on other networks like VH1, Bravo, and Oxygen. ANTM also gets a lot of streams on Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon.
America’s Next Top Model Cycle 1 premiered on May 20, 2003 on UPN. It made the move to The CW when UPN merged with WB in 2006. It’s currently the longest-running series on The CW and its most successful reality series. But the success of Tyra Banks’ America’s Next Top Model goes beyond the show’s ratings in America. The Top Model show format has been exported to over 30 countries. There’s been a Britain’s Next Top Model, a Germany’s Next Top Model, and an Australia’s Next Top Model, just to name a few. The show’s 22 cycles have also added new lexicon into popular culture. Words like “smize” and “booty tooch,” first coined by Tyra Banks on ANTM, have become well known, especially with the show’s target demographic.
But that doesn’t mean the going has been easy for the past 15 years, and no one can speak to that more than former Top Model contestants.
Although the show has launched the careers of Yaya DaCosta, Eva Marcille, Annaleigh Tipton, and Don Benjamin, ANTM has been plagued by criticism that it has failed to actually find America’s next top model.
Previous contestants have also called out the show and Tyra Banks for unfair and cruel treatment. Take Angelea Preston, for example, the winner of Cycle 17, The All-Star Cycle.
Angelea claims that her title was stripped from her because she had worked briefly as an escort shortly after her previous stint on the reality show, Broadly reports. Preston claims that show producers knew about the escorting before they cast her on ANTM All-Stars.
“I think why they took it from me, is because it makes their show look like the crock of sh*t that is,” Preston explained. “If I had escorted before I [first] came on the show, they would have used it to further exploit me. They would say, ‘Hey, she was an escort, but we put her on America’s Top Model, and we made her great.’ But because it happened after, how could they say their show created such a great opportunity for me, when it didn’t? It lead me into a path that I wasn’t supposed to travel down, coming off a show like that.”
Angelea has since sued Tyra Banks for breach of contract and is seeking $3 million from the model-turned-media mogul, Us Weekly reports. She filed the suit in December 2014.
Angelea who says she was once a huge fan of Tyra Banks now has nothing but disdain for the way she treats people.
“Tyra exploits women, period,” Preston said. “Once she gets out what she wants from you, then you’re done to her. You’re nothing.”
According to Deadline, Tyra Banks will most likely be involved in any new installments of America’s Next Top Model, but whether she will continue as host of the show is still undecided.
[Photo by Jesse Grant/ Getty Images for NATAS]