Strike a Pose, Andrew Nikou! OpenGate CEO in Reality Show Talks

Ever since Sundance nixed Lynn Tilton’s reality show a few months ago, I’ve been waiting for the next PE/VC exec to strike a deal.

Now a reliable source tells me that Andrew Nikou, OpenGate Capital’s founder and CEO, is in talks for his own show. It’s not clear whether the reality show will be a competition, or what the prize will be, or if there will be a prize. Instead, Nikou will be mentoring companies — entrepreneurs and small businesses with revenue of $20 million to $25 million — and helping them grow their businesses. The show is geared as a combination of “Undercover Boss” meets “The Apprentice,” I’m told.

“It’s a show that’s not focused on nonsense but on issues surrounding private equity and the economy,” says the source.

Nikou is working with a production company and the show is being pitched to “the right people,” I’m told. I presume that’s the cable networks.

Who is Andrew Nikou? He founded OpenGate Capital, a Los Angeles-based PE firm, in 2005. OpenGate is best known for its takeover of TV Guide, which it bought in December 2008 for $1 (yes, one dollar) and $50 million in assumed liabilities. TV Guide is profitable again and generating income in the mid-to high single digit millions, Nikou said last year.

OpenGate was also involved in the initial rounds for Newsweek. The firm has also invested in energy, technology, consumer, specialized manufacturing and paper. Yesterday, OpenGate got into the milk business when it announced its buy of a Wisconsin dairy processing plant from Dean Foods.