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A BU student produces a sitcom for mtvU

How COM student James Marshall Spector became an mtvU producer.

James Spector spent the past year working as associate producer of a television sitcom — he coordinated shoots, kept the cast up to date, and maintained the production office. But this BU student worked not in a Hollywood studio, but right on campus, filming a sitcom that will debut on the mtvU network March 21.

One year ago, mtvU and MSN asked each student in Spector’s Advanced Television Writing class to write an original sitcom script, and produce and act in the show. The selection process for the scripts aired on the network as the reality television show Breaking the Sitcom. In the end, one script was chosen to be produced: Liz Coopersmith’s Roller Palace.

Spector became the production coordinator and associate producer. In addition to traditional duties of a television show producers, Spector set up tutorials with industry professionals for the 16-member cast and crew of Boston University students.

Roller Palace is the story of a spoiled New York City teen forced to move to New Jersey after her mother marries “the king of the Roller Palace hot dog empire.” The story is often told through video chat correspondences the girl has with a prison inmate — her biological father. The Boston premiere of Roller Palace is March 17 at the Photonics Center, and there is an online premiere on mtvU’s Web site March 20.