Nick Lachey

Nick Lachey

Nick Lachey is returning to MTV, but he's staying behind the camera this time.

The singer and former "Newlyweds" star will executive produce a series that the cable channel is touting as an unscripted version of "Fame." MTV has also picked up two music competition shows: "Rock the Cradle," which features the children of rock stars squaring off against each other, and an untitled show in which famous mentors school amateur performers and viewers vote for their favorites.

The network has also renewed "America's Best Dance Crew" for a second season. The show has drawn strong ratings among MTV's core teen and young-adult audience, so the pickup is no surprise.

The Lachey show will focus on students at Cincinnati's School for Creative and Performing Arts, which he attended. It will mix the students' performances in classes, rehearsals and anywhere else with narrative elements about their lives. MTV says it will also employ a "unique visual language" to help tell its stories.

Lachey is executive producing the show with Marc Platt and Russell Heldt.

"Rock the Cradle" will star the offspring of M.C. Hammer, Olivia Newton-John, Kenny Loggins, Dee Snider and others showing off their own vocal chops in front of a panel of judges and a live audience. It's produced by FremantleMedia North America, which also produces "American Idol." The mentor show is slated for later in the year and hasn't been cast yet.