Tyra Launches Supermodel Reality Show

10/29/2002 at 01:00 PM EST

Tyra Banks

Tyra Banks

"Fear Factor" is about to meet Max Factor, thanks to a newly announced midseason show tentatively called "Supermodel," starring Tyra Banks, UPN has announced.

The network has picked up eight one-hour episodes of the reality series, which will feature the Los Angeles-born Banks, 28, who will also serve as executive producer and a judge, according to a statement from UPN entertainment president Dawn Ostroff.

The show will revolve around a nationwide talent search (much like "American Idol") for eight real people who think they can cut it in the world of supermodeling, with the series providing "dramatic twists and turns as participants compete in the world of modeling," according to a network press release.

Said Banks: "There is a misconception about supermodels that is more fantasy than reality. With 'Supermodel,' I want to demystify the glamor and show the challenges and hard work of becoming a supermodel, but in a humorously hip and edgy way."

Like "Big Brother," the contestants in "Supermodel" will live together and compete for the championship title in weekly tests. Inner and outer beauty will serve as the qualifiers, say producers.

A panel of experts -- composed of agency reps, photographers, fashion magazine editors and Banks -- will oversee the competition.

"This reality series is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity by providing direct access to the high-profile agencies, photographers and stylists not exposed to the average aspiring model," Banks said.

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