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MTV Confirms Redstone’s Barbarellas Project Still in Development

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Jul 26, 2010 | 4:15am EDT

Sumner RedstoneSumner Redstone’s pet project Electric Barbarellas is forging ahead.

So says The Hollywood Reporter, to whom MTV has confirmed that a reality show based on the girl band remains in development despite last week’s controversy and objections by some at the network. Gary Auerbach's production company Go Go Luckey, credited with MTV's Laguna Beach is taping the bisexual young women in the Electric Barbarellas on their quest for fame and fortune, says THR.

Last week, a phone message that Redstone left for Daily Beast reporter Peter Lauria was unveiled. During the message, he demanded Lauria reveal the source of a June 2 story about Redstone’s attempts to force reluctant MTV executives to create a show for the band.

In last week’s message, Redstone offered to reward Lauria for giving up his source and added, “We're not going to kill him, we just want to talk to him.”

Redstone's control of Viacom remains unchallenged, but the octogenarian’s conduct is not going unnoticed on Wall Street, says THR’s Kim Masters. Mystery persists around the disclosure that 29-year-old Barbarellas band member Heather Naylor sold $157,000 worth of Viacom stock in March.

"People are upset that (apparently) this woman just got options handed to her and cashed them in already," one person with Viacom connections told THR.

A Redstone spokesman, who did not comment on the stock sale, said the mogul now regrets having left the phone message. "It was Sumner being Sumner," the spokesman told THR. "People who know him know he's a seize-the-day kind of guy. He feels bad that he was impulsive in making that phone call."

Wall Street analysts, meanwhile, expressed feelings ranging from amusement to concern that headlines about Redstone's behavior could distract management and investors. But, says THR, few expected immediate fallout for Redstone beyond bad publicity.

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