Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Oxygen Announces Casting Call For THE BAD GIRLS CLUB

Oxygen Greenlights THE BAD GIRLS CLUB - New Reality Series From Bunim-Murray Productions

Network Orders 22 Episodes; Largest Episode Order of Reality Series

Series Scheduled To Premiere in December 2006

They drive us crazy. They′re exasperating. And some part of us wishes we could be more like them. From the producers that invented reality television, Bunim-Murray Productions, comes THE BAD GIRLS CLUB, a new original series for Oxygen debuting in December 2006. THE BAD GIRLS CLUB is a docu-soap chronicling a group of "bad girls" that are brought to live in a house together. All are determined to turn over a new leaf - if they don′t kill each other first.

In order to gain entrance to the "club" - located in Los Angeles - the group must first (literally) pledge to help themselves, and each other, change their "evil" ways. The cast of THE BAD GIRLS CLUB will be a diverse group of women; including some familiar faces, whose inability to "play nice with others" has held them back both personally and professionally.

"BAD GIRLS CLUB underscores Oxygen′s focus on creating engaging programming for young women that also has broad appeal. Bunim-Murray has honed in on what young women want to watch, which is why they are among the most sought after and successful producers for this demographic," said Debby Beece, President of Programming and Marketing, Oxygen Media.

"With all the reality shows that we have produced, there has been a never-ending fascination with the ′bad girls′ in each cast," said Jonathan Murray of Bunim-Murray Productions. "Since the audience loves them and loves to hate them, we thought it would be perfect to devote an entire series to them, to see how they interact with each other and if it′s really possible for them to change their ways."

Bunim-Murray Productions will be holding open casting calls in June throughout the country to search for the best unknown "bad girls." Those wishing to participate are also welcome to submit a brief description to, or call 1-800-683-8832, explaining why they consider themselves to be a "bad girl." Interested applicants are also encouraged to create a 5-10 minute casting tape. Tapes should be sent to: THE BAD GIRLS CLUB Casting, 6007 Sepulveda Blvd., Van Nuys, CA 91411. More information on casting is available at

Comedy Central Announces Summer And Fall Schedules

Comedy Central fans get ready! Summer and Fall 2006 will be chock full of brand spanking new comedy. From new series (DOG BITES MAN, FREAK SHOW) to new specials (BLUE COLLAR COMEDY TOUR: ONE FOR THE ROAD, JAMIE KENNEDY: UNWASHED) to returning series (CHAPPELLE′S SHOW, RENO 911!) and acquisitions (SCRUBS), Comedy Central is the best place to tune in and cool down in the months to come.

The following are descriptions of new series, new specials, returning series and new acquisitions premiering in Summer-Fall of 2006: New Series

DOG BITES MAN - Premieres Wednesday, June 7 at 10:30 p.m. (EST)
Local news just got a whole lot funnier (and this time it′s intentional). Expect nothing ordinary as Comedy Central delves deeper into the world of the traditional half-hour narrative with the ten-episode series DOG BITES MAN. It′s an outrageous, part improvisational, part mockumentary, single camera show featuring a group of dysfunctional fake newscasters interacting with real people. The cast includes improv experts Zach Galifianakis, A.D. Miles, Andrea Savage and Matt Walsh.

LIVE AT GOTHAM - Premieres Friday, July 21 at 11:00 p.m. (EST)
Miss it on ″MotherLoad″? Have no fear, because now it is on Comedy Central. LIVE AT GOTHAM, the all-comedy channel′s first original, multi-platform stand-up series makes its television premiere after the series′ first-run on Comedy Central′s broadband channel, "MotherLoad." The topical stand-up series was taped this spring at the Gotham Comedy Club in New York City. Topical segments from the stand-up shows first premiered as "MotherLoad" exclusives and will now make their debut on-air on Comedy Central as six one-hour hosted episodes. Hosts include Christopher Titus, Joe Rogan, Greg Behrendt, Patton Oswalt and Bill Burr.

FREAK SHOW - Premieres Wednesday, October 4 at 10:30 p.m. (EST)
Based on an idea by David Cross (ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT, MR. SHOW) and H. Jon Benjamin (DR. KATZ: PROFESSIONAL THERAPIST, HOME MOVIES), FREAK SHOW chronicles the adventures and misadventures of the illustrious Freak Squad, a band of freaks secretly employed by the United States government. When the Squad is not busy undertaking low-priority missions for the Pentagon, pitting them against the world′s most notorious second-rate villains, they retreat to their alternate lives as performers in America′s last independently-owned traveling freak show, Bob and Helen Hartsdale′s Funtyme Freak Show. Whenever there′s a mission too insignificant for A-list superheroes, have no fear, the Freak Squad is on it!

Dave Koechner and Dave "Gruber" Allen are hitting America′s highways and collecting stories from the road. Developed at the Comedy Central Stage in Los Angeles, NAKED TRUCKER takes place at a truck stop featuring a naked trucker (Allen) and his ne′er-do-well sidekick, Gerald "T-Bones" Tibbons (Koechner), who are backed by a hell-raising band. Each week they will join viewers from a truck stop in Middle America to re-fuel and tell their story of being on the road in pursuit of the American dream.

New Specials

BLUE COLLAR COMEDY TOUR: ONE FOR THE ROAD - World Premiere Sunday, June 4 at 8:00 p.m. (EST)
Tune in for the World Premiere of the latest stand-up concert from the original Blue Collar boys, Jeff Foxworthy, Larry the Cable Guy, Bill Engvall and Ron White. The previous two BLUE COLLAR COMEDY TOUR concert films stand as two of the top five most-watched airings in Comedy Central history. Other Top Five airings include THE COMEDY CENTRAL ROAST OF JEFF FOXWORTHY AND RON WHITE: YOU CAN′T FIX STUPID, a one-hour stand-up special.

JAMIE KENNEDY: UNWASHED - Premieres Sunday, June 25 at 10:00 p.m. (EST)
Jamie Kennedy, successful author and movie star, brings it all to the table in the Network Television Premiere of his stand-up special UNWASHED. Catch Kennedy as he takes on Hollywood, plastic surgery, Catholicism, drugs and relationships. Plus, don′t miss his laugh-out-loud impressions of the porn industry, language barriers on international flights, first time sex and psychotic ex-girlfriends.

We only "Roast" the ones we love and Comedy Central makes sure that the entire country gets to see just how much love there is to go around. In 2004, the annual Roast underwent a facelift courtesy of Comedy Central. Gone are the formal black tie, dais and orchestra. It is a hip, free-for-all, rock-n-roll feel as contemporary legends are ROASTED, to the delight of all. Celebrities who have been successfully ROASTED on Comedy Central in the past include Drew Carey, Jerry Stiller, Rob Reiner, Hugh M. Hefner, Chevy Chase, Denis Leary, Jeff Foxworthy and, most recently, Pamela Anderson. The year′s "Roastee" is TBA.

With LEGENDS, Comedy Central is developing a new type of documentary series, one that takes an inside look at the legends of comedy as told through the voices of comedy insiders and those that worked with and knew each legend intimately. We′re overhauling the traditional "biography" format to present a series of specials celebrating the careers and lives of comedy′s pioneers, juggernauts and biggest successes. The premiere episode of LEGENDS celebrates the life and amazing career of comedy icon, Rodney Dangerfield. Best known for his trademark "I don′t get no respect," Dangerfield continues to have a monumental influence on the comedians and fans who love him. His LEGENDS special will features clips from previous concerts, appearances from THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW, rare interview footage and tributes from an all-star line-up of DangerfieldÕs comedy friends, including Roseanne Barr, Jeff Foxworthy, Robert Klein, Jay Leno, Norm McDonald, Bill Maher, Chris Rock, Ray Romano, Bob Saget, Adam Sandler, Jerry Stiller and Ann Meara.

COMEDY LOVE CALL - Premieres Sunday, October 15 at 10:00 p.m. (EST)
Roll out the red carpet...COMEDY CENTRAL is gearing up for a live mega-watt event! The all-comedy network is partnering with Jon Stewart's Busboy Productions for its first-ever live, on-air special event, "Comedy Love Call," a benefit for Autism education and research programs. Live from New York City′s Beacon Theater, Stewart and many of comedy's leading lights and celebrity all-stars including Adam Sandler, Jack Black, Sacha Baron Cohen (DA ALI G SHOW), Stephen Colbert (THE COLBERT REPORT) and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog (LATE NIGHT WITH CONAN O′BRIEN), among many other TBA stars and celebs, will perform to raise money to help ease the severe shortage of effective schools and education programs for autistic children and adults. "Comedy Love Call" will also benefit Autism Speaks, an organization created to benefit Autism research. Returning Series

CHAPPELLE′S SHOW: THE LOST EPISODES - Season 3 Premieres Sunday, July 9 at 9:00 p.m. (EST)
Finally, the wait is over! The highly anticipated lost episodes of CHAPPELLE′S SHOW third season are ready to hit the air. Longtime CHAPPELLE'S SHOW collaborators and cast members Charlie Murphy and Donnell Rawlings proudly take the stage to present the sketches we′ve all been waiting to see. The first season had black white supremacists and the Wu-Tang clan dispensing financial advice. The second season brought us Prince, Lil John, Rick James, and the first ever racial draft. Who knows what the third season of CHAPPELLE′S SHOW has in store?

RENO 911! - Season 4 Premieres Sunday, July 9 at 10:30 p.m. (EST)
The RENO police force is back in action for a fourth season! Find out if Dangle and Garcia freeze to death, if Deputy Wielga′s serial killer husband gets a lethal injection and what happens when Jones and Garcia are transferred to the RENO mounted patrol in 14 new episodes of the hit comedy series. The new season features guest stars Paul Reubens (aka Pee Wee Herman), Carrot Top and Oscar Nunez (THE OFFICE).

MIND OF MENCIA - New Season 2 Episodes Premiere July 9 at 10:00 p.m. (EST)
Shot in the studio and on location, MIND OF MENCIA is based on Mencia′s unique point of view of the world including such topics as ethnic stereotypes, race relations, immigration, war, patriotism, capitalism and family and is presented with brutal honesty and unrelenting provocation. The show includes Mencia′s comments on pop culture and current events, man-on-the-street interviews, commercial parodies, as well as interaction with the studio audience. Comedy Central rolls out the remaining eight original episodes from the hit series′ second season.

SOUTH PARK - New Season 10 Episodes Premiere October 4 at 10:00 p.m. (EST)
Comedy Central celebrates the Emmy and Peabody Award-winning series′ 10th season as the boys are back with seven all-new episodes.

Acquired Series

SCRUBS - Weeknights at 7:00 p.m. beginning Monday, September 19 (EST)
Comedy Central has found a cure for SCRUBS fans with Zach Braff and his clan of interns joining the laugh channel in syndication this fall. The all-comedy channel will be offering viewers the first opportunity to see this Emmy-nominated series off NBC. SCRUBS focuses on the strange experiences of fresh-faced medical resident John "J.D." Dorian (Zach Braff, GARDEN STATE) as he embarks on his healing career in a surreal hospital crammed full of unpredictable staffers and patients - where humor and tragedy can merge paths at any time. The show also stars John C. McGinley, Judy Reyes, Sarah Chalke, Donald Faison, Ken Jenkins and Neil Flynn. SCRUBS began airing on NBC in October 2001 and is now currently running strong in its fifth season.

Ice Hockey Olympian Angela Ruggiero Chosen For Season Six Of THE APPRENTICE

Viewers Chose Three-Time U.S. Women's Ice Hockey Olympian And Harvard Graduate Angela Ruggiero In NBC′S APPRENTICE Online Casting Competition

Ruggiero Selected By Viewers in First-Ever Online Vote To Become A Candidate On Season Six of THE APPRENTICE

"We′ll see if Angela can ice the competition as we take the boardroom to the West Coast," said Donald Trump

NBC and Mark Burnett Productions announced that 1998 gold medalist and three-time U.S. Women′s Ice Hockey Olympian and Harvard Graduate Angela Ruggiero will join 17 other candidates selected to ′interview′ for the title of THE APPRENTICE during season six of the hit show. NBC′s THE APPRENTICE hosted by Donald Trump returns in January on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT with new twists, new geography - shot exclusively in Southern California - new boardrooms and 18 new candidates.

This past February, Mark Burnett, creator and executive producer, opened APPRENTICE casting to the viewers to choose one of 12 U.S. Olympic athletes competing in the 2006 Olympic Winter Games. During NBC′s 17-day broadcast from Torino, viewers were given the chance to vote interactively on for one of the 12 U.S. Olympians to become a candidate on season six of THE APPRENTICE.

Ruggiero out-skated her fellow competitors, which included: Olympians Allison Baver (short track speedskating/Reading, Pa.); Travis Cabral (freestyle skiing moguls/South Lake Tahoe, Calif.); Casey FitzRandolph (long track speedskating/Verona, Wis.); Todd Hays (bobsled/Del Rio, Texas); Chad Hedrick (long track speedskating/Spring, Texas); Danny Kass (snowboard/halfpipe/ Greenwich, Conn.); Joe Pack (freestyle skiing/aerials/Park City, Utah); Jeret "Speedy" Peterson (freestyle skiing/aerials/Boise, Idaho); Katie Uhlaender (skeleton/Breckenridge, Colo.); Seth Wescott (snowboard/snowboardcross/Carrabassett Valley, Maine) and Chris Witty (long track speedskating/West Allis, Wis.).

"The results are in and I′m thrilled with the viewers decision," said Trump, executive producer, THE APPRENTICE. "We′ll see if Angela can ice the competition as we take the boardroom to the West Coast."

"It′s an honor to have been selected by America - I′ll definitely be bringing my Olympic spirit and competitive edge to the game," said Ruggiero.

"I′m delighted to have an Olympian in our cast, especially one who went to Harvard," said Burnett, executive producer, THE APPRENTICE. "It′s a unique hiring opportunity for Donald Trump if she′s lucky enough to win. But in order to win, she′ll need to be the best of the best as she battles against many motivated and talented job applicants."

The current season of THE APPRENTICE concludes this Monday, June 5 with a 90-minute live broadcast from Los Angeles′ Orpheum Theatre where either Lee or Sean will be told "You′re Hired."

In 1998, Ruggiero became the youngest member of the U.S. Olympic Team that won the first Olympic gold medal ever awarded in women′s ice hockey at the Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan. She subsequently was a member of the U.S. Olympic team that won a silver medal in Salt Lake City in the 2002 Olympic Winter Games and most recently, she and her teammates took home a bronze medal in Torino in 2006. Ruggiero is a recognized team leader and is widely regarded as the top female defenseman in the world. At the 2005 International Ice Hockey Federation Women′s World Championship in Sweden, Ruggiero scored the shootout game-winner to lead Team USA to its first-ever World Championship gold medal.

Ruggiero was chosen to be one of eight athletes to carry the tattered World Trade Center flag into the Opening Ceremony of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Winter Games. On the ice in Salt Lake, Ruggiero notched a goal and three assists in five games, leading the U.S. to the gold-medal game against Canada. Canada won, 3-2, to claim gold. Ruggiero was given the IIHF Directorate Award as the tournament's top defenseman.

On Jan. 8, 2005, Ruggiero made history when she became the first female non-goaltender to play significant minutes in a U.S. men′s professional hockey game. She joined her brother, goaltender Bill Ruggiero, playing for the Tulsa Oilers of the Central Hockey League. She had one assist in 13 minutes of ice time. After the game, the Hockey Hall of Fame requested Angela′s and Bill′s sweaters, because they became the first brother and sister to play together in a North American professional game.

Ruggiero graduated cum laude from Harvard University with a B.A. in government in 2004. She was a four-time All-American and four-time finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award, presented annually by USA Hockey to the top player in NCAA Division I women′s ice hockey. She won the award her senior year and was named one of the top 16 female athletes in the world by in 2004. She finished her collegiate career with 243 points (91 goals, 152 assists) in 127 games. For the 2000-01 and 2001-02 school years, she took a leave of absence from Harvard to concentrate on the Olympics.

Ruggiero is active in Right to Play, a non-governmental organization that aims to enrich the lives of children through sport. She traveled to Uganda for three weeks in 2004 for Right to Play, observing and helping to educate children at play around the country. For one week each summer, she teaches at her All-American Girls Hockey School at the St. Clair Shores Civic Arena in St. Clair, Mich. She started the school in 2002 to encourage girls to participate in ice hockey. Ruggiero also helped launch the website and raise funds for Teams of Angels and, charities that focus on creating a safer youth sports experience. In November 2005, she released her autobiography, "Breaking the Ice."

Reality And Music Star Nick Lachey To Perform Concert With Natasha Bedingfield On Oxygen

Oxygen′s Nick Lachey Custom Concert Featuring Natasha Bedingfield Pairs Pop Music′s Hottest With Britain′s Brightest

Pop Star Nick Lachey Debuts Songs From His Second Solo Album and Performs with British Pop Sensation Natasha Bedingfield

Latest Oxygen Custom Concert Premieres Friday, June 16th at 11p.m. ET/PT

Oxygen gathers the best in pop music in the "Nick Lachey Custom Concert Featuring Natasha Bedingfield," the latest offering of television′s only concert series in which viewers decide the set list. One of pop music′s hottest stars Nick Lachey, joins one of Britain′s brightest, Natasha Bedingfield, for an intimate Oxygen concert taping on Friday, June 9th in New York City. The concert premieres Friday, June 16th at 11p.m. ET/PT.

From May 31st through June 8th, Oxygen viewers can log onto and vote among Lachey favorites to determine the concert′s set list, Bedingfield′s cover song and a duet for the couple to perform. Also on the site, fans can submit questions for the artists to answer throughout the televised show.

"Nick and Natasha are two of today′s hottest music talents who are not only incredible singers but amazing songwriters who create honest material," said Julie Insogna, Senior Vice President of Talent and Music Programming. "Their listeners identify with the personal songs they′ve written because they come from their hearts."

Nick Lachey is an accomplished singer and songwriter who began his musical career alongside his brother Drew Lachey as one part of the male recording group 98 Degrees. The band went on to sell seven million albums due to such hit singles as "Invisible Man," "The Hardest Thing," "Give Me Just One Night (Una Noche)," and their smash collaboration with Mariah Carey, "Thank God I Found You."

In 2003, Lachey went from pop music favorite to pop culture icon in MTV′s "Newlyweds: Nick & Jessica,′ a reality series that chronicled his new marriage to fellow singer Jessica Simpson. Later that year, Lachey released his debut solo album "SoulO." His second solo album on Jive Records "What′s Left of Me" was released on May 9, 2006 and debuted on Billboard at #2. The title track is already one of Top 40 radio′s fastest rising singles of Spring 2006. In recent years, Lachey has expanded his talents to acting with guest appearances on the WB′s "Charmed," ABC′s "Hope & Faith," the motion picture "Bewitched" and 2005′s "The Hard Easy."

British superstar Natasha Bedingfield is one of the year′s biggest breakout musical talents. When her debut album Unwritten (now triple platinum) was released in the UK, she made history as the only the third solo singer to debut at #1 (after Annie Lennox and Bonnie Tyler). Natasha and her famous brother Daniel recently made it into the Guinness Book of World Records as the only brother and sister to have solo number ones in UK chart history. And last year, Natasha emerged as one of the most exciting and credible new singer/songwriters in the U.S. with her Epic Records release. Her self-penned pop smashes "Unwritten" (which went to #1), the top ten song "These Words" and current hit "Single" have earned her a growing and devoted fan following here in the States.

Past Oxygen Custom Concerts have included LL Cool J, Bo Bice, Patti LaBelle, Trisha Yearwood, Toni Braxton, Ashanti, Kenny Chesney, The Wallflowers, Sarah McLachlan, Avril Lavigne, Alanis Morissette, LeAnn Rimes, Melissa Etheridge, The Goo Goo Dolls, Michelle Branch, and Tori Amos.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The Cast Of New Reality Adventure TREASURE HUNTERS Revealed has learned of the identities of the ten teams of three for the new reality adventure TREASURE HUNTERS.

NBC′s new TREASURE HUNTERS, an unscripted "quest" series that will feature teams of treasure-hunting competitors who will use folklore, fantasy and actual history as clues to solve a complex puzzle.

In TREASURE HUNTERS, multi-player teams try to stay one step ahead of each other as they face intellectual and physical challenges in their quest of a promised hidden treasure. The teams must avoid elimination as they travel to historically significant locations where the must decipher cryptic codes and puzzles, each with a clue leading them closer to solving the ultimate puzzle and obtaining the coveted grand prize.

From the producers of THE DA VINCI CODE, PROJECT RUNWAY AND TOP CHEF, TREASURE HUNTERS will premiere with a two hour special on Sunday, June 18th.

The ten teams of three are as followed:

Team Air Force
Brooke Rillos, 28, joins Team Air Force with her husband Matthew Rillos. Originally from Thornton, CO, Brooke currently resides in Highlands Ranch, CO with Matt and their two sons. Brooke graduated from the United States Air Force Academy with a B.S. in Psychology and served in the Air Force from May 2000 to May 2005. A volleyball player, Brooke credits herself with being very athletic and competitive and knows her military training will help her win this challenge!

Matt Rillos, 28, is married to fellow team Air Force member Brooke, with whom he has two sons. Matt met Brooke during their first year of Air Force basic training and immediately fell in love. Matt is originally from Golden, CO and graduated from the United States Air Force Academy with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. Matt also served in the Air Force from May 2000 to May 2005 and is currently a system engineer and financial planner. Matt shares the same competitive and determined personality as the rest of his team and is confident of their ability to win.

Matt Zitzlsperger, 28, has known Brooke and Matt Rillos since basic training and they all quickly became best friends. Matt is also godfather to the Rillos′ oldest son. Originally from Wayzata, MN, Matt graduated from the United States Air Force Academy having studied Operations Research. He also recently obtained his M.B.A. from UCLA′s Anderson School of Management in June 2005. Matt credits athletic abilities, determination and persistence as team Air Force′s strengths and cites one of his goals for the show as being in it until the end!

Team Brown Family
Keith Brown, 43, is originally from Midland, TX, but now resides in Corvallis, OR. Keith attended Oklahoma State University and now works as an Operations Manager in the contact center industry. Keith's background makes him well suited for TREASURE HUNTERS, Keith has over 15 years experience in the contact center industry. Keith insists that TREASURE HUNTERS was made for him - he loves to solve puzzles and riddles and provide solutions to problems. Keith wants an adventure and says that his close-knit team has the discipline and cooperative nature necessary to win. Keith and his brothers - Kenneth, Terry, and Tonny along with famed illustrators Kez Wilson, Kerry Gammil and Brian Fabian have a comic book in development called Jurassic Knights which will be released in June 2006. Keith′s little sister, Katrina, believes that he has lost his mind given his huge size, however, knowing of her brother′s tenacity and wit has made her a devoted fan. Keith′s current treasure is his wife and children, however, a house on the beach, an Alaskan cruise with his wife, Chelle, and a fully loaded Hummer would be a nice add! An avid beach-goer, Keith says that he and his wife would like to take six months to devote to themselves and their health.

Tonny Brown, 38, resides in Garland, Texas and works at Bank of America as an EBS Senior Specialist. Tonny admits that others may discount the Brown Family because of their weight, but they plan on using their intelligence and analytical thinking as their secret weapon. Tonny says that TREASURE HUNTERS will be a great learning experience and that each member of his team has distinct skills and diverse personalities to bring to the table. A football player in high school, Tonny says that people would be most surprised to learn that he loves to write and greatly enjoys any time he gets to spend by himself.

Terrance Brown, 40, was born in Midland, TX and shares the same competitive drive as his brothers, having played high school football and participating in basketball games twice a week. Terrance has worked for Office Depot for fourteen years and enjoys solving mysteries and treasure-hunting in his real life, as well. Terrance echoes his brother′s sentiments in saying that their competition may disregard the Brown Family because of their weight, but Terrance knows that their wit and sharp intelligence is enough to win this challenge. Terrance, who is known as "Terry" by his family, and has a wife and two boys.

Team Ex-CIA

Todd More, 32, is a self-professed "computer geek" who bonded with his teammates during an internship with the CIA. Todd graduated from Old Dominion University with a B.S. in Computer Science and now works as the chief software architect of a cyber-forensics product. He has one patented invention and one pending in the field of network security. For fun, he works on creating systems that predict and trade the stock market. Todd cites his teams′ problem solving skills and ability to analyze situations as their greatest strength.

Jacob Porter, 34, first met his teammates when they were all working as CIA interns (a fantastic opportunity every college student should shoot for!). Originally from Talladega, AL, Jacob is the youngest of ten children and says that he is on the show for his 80+ year-old parents, and his 20 year old nephew, James, who has been battling cancer since he was 17. Jacob graduated from the University of Alabama as the world′s biggest Alabama football fan (ROLL TIDE!!!), but he also picked up an Electrical Engineering degree while he was there. In his career he has worked for NASA, the CIA, and XM Radio, but he is also a successful entrepreneur founding companies in government consulting, board game design (with Mark), and event promotion. Besides football Jacob enjoys traveling the world, playing tennis, strategy games, laughing it up with his friends and family, and spending time with his girlfriend, Donna. His life goals are to conquer the world, cure cancer, and to figure out women.

Mark West, 36,was born in New Orleans (The Big Easy), LA on January 9, 1970. Mark has a BS degree in Electrical Engineering (93′) from Louisiana State University and a Masters of Business Administration (01′) from Tulane University. He has worked in the mobile telecommunications industry for eight years, both as a RF Network Design Engineer and Financial Analyst. Prior to working in the telecommunications arena, Mark worked for the CIA and the U.S. State Department. While at the State Department Mark had the privilege of traveling through Africa and Europe as part of a team providing satellite communications services to our embassies abroad. Recently, Mark and his family moved to Pensacola, Florida to enjoy life along the Gulf Coast. Mark enjoys fishing, sailing, scuba diving, and spear fishing. Pensacola is a wonderful location for Mark and his family to pursue these activities. Like most New Orleanians, Mark is quite comfortable in the kitchen cooking seafood such as alligator, crabs, crawfish, and shrimp. He also has a certificate in ′mixology′ (bartending). Louisiana′s notoriety as the "Sportsman′s Paradise" has definitely influenced him. Since an early age Mark has enjoyed communing with nature. During his childhood he once ate a raw crawfish and used to enjoy swimming with his aunt Aline′s pet alligator "lli". More recently, Mark was swarmed by a variety of animals at a petting zoo in Little Rock, Arkansas. Mark is a free thinker that craves adventure, foreign travel, and college football. Mark dreams of sailing the globe with his wife and any friends that dare partake in the journey.

Team Fogal Family
Brad Fogal, 48, of Team Fogal Family lives in Orange County, CA, has four grown children, and works as a pastor. He has been married to Margie for twenty-six years. After graduating from college, he obtained masters′ degrees in both education and theology. Busy with life as an ordained minister, Brad loves people and enjoys serving his church. He likes preaching, reading, and various sports. He also likes to travel, although he prefers a more relaxed, conventional style than allowed for on the show. His original motivation for joining TREASURE HUNTERS was to be with his wife and daughter and help them stay safe throughout the experience.

Margie Fogal, 47, of Team Fogal Family lives in Orange County, CA, has four grown children, and works as a high school guidance tech. She has been married to Brad for twenty-six years. Born in the mountains of Honduras to adventurous parents, Margie lived on three continents before the age of twelve and still carries with her an inborn sense of daring, adventure and fun. Margie is known for her nutty stunts and thinks it's funny when folks refer to her as a "crazy pastor′s wife." When she looks back on TREASURE HUNTERS, she thinks of it as the greatest scavenger hunt ever and can′t wait for more adventures to come her way.

Kayte Andersen, 25, of Team Fogal Family lives in Orange County, CA, with her husband, Ross, and Plato, their three-year-old boxer. She is a school teacher who graduated from college with a degree in Child Development. The oldest of four children, Kayte joined TREASURE HUNTERS to spend time with her parents and to help her mother′s life-long dream of adventure travel come true. Kayte credits her upbringing as a pastor's kid for her own passion and determination. She sees unity and commitment as two of her family′s greatest strengths.

Team Geniuses
Francis Goldshmid, 20, is currently a pre-med student at Southern Methodist University. He hails from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and was awarded the Presidential Scholarship to SMU, the University′s highest honor. Francis doesn′t see the drastic religious and political differences within his team as a handicap, but loves engaging in debates with his teammates, knowing that their friendship will never be compromised by their beliefs. Francis is excited to see the world and live life to its fullest by being on TREASURE HUNTERS and is ready for the challenge.

Charles Taylor, 22, currently attends Southern Methodist University on a full scholarship. Charles is a Teaching Assistant in the Organic Chemistry Lab, which is where he met his two teammates. Charles is currently a senior and is studying Electrical Engineering, Biology, Physics, and Math. In high school he had near perfect SAT scores and his dream is to conduct Stem Cell Research in his own lab. Originally from Paris, TX, Charles is proud of his intelligence and knows that the Geniuses, three guys each with multiple majors, should be able to successfully solve almost any puzzle.

Sam Khurana, 21, met his teammates in his Organic Chemistry Lab, Charles being his TA, and Francis a classmate. Sam, a student at Southern Methodist University, is working towards his B.S. in Biology, a B.A. in Chemistry, and a B.S. in Economics with Finance. Sam says that the Geniuses may be their own worst enemy - their biggest weakness being their egos. But Sam credits their intelligence and work ethic as the qualities that will help their team to succeed. Sam′s main incentive for winning TREASURE HUNTERS, is that he wants to establish a college fund for his best friend′s newborn son. Sam wishes one day to become a doctor and open a free geriatric clinic.

Team Wild Hanlons

Josh Hanlon, 19, is a recent high school graduate from a suburb of Austin, TX. Josh works for his father at the family-owned carpet cleaning business and enjoys writing and playing music. Josh joins TREASURE HUNTERS with his father, Pat, and Uncle Ben. Compared to these two, Josh is the soft-spoken member of his team, but Josh says that he is not easily intimidated and can hold his own with his boisterous and fun-loving relatives. These strong personalities can sometimes get the Hanlon Brothers into trouble, however, but Josh says that the team′s determination to win will overcome these potential conflicts.

Ben Hanlon, 50, is an entrepreneur and successful businessman. He has his doctorate in medical administration and works as a C.E.O. / Executive Director in Health Care Administration. Ben also owns a limousine company and a travel agency. He graduated from Texas Christian University where he studied speech communication before getting his masters and doctorate from Hamilton University. Ben, who served as an Honorable in the Air Force, says he is joining TREASURE HUNTERS not only for the fame and fortune, but to become closer to his family. Ben recognizes the vast differences of opinion and independent personalities within his team that might be the cause of some weakness for the Hanlon Brothers, but he also cites their adventurous spirit and inability to be intimidated as his team′s secret to victory.

Pat Hanlon, 39, is a successful entrepreneur and business owner. In business since 1987, Pat owns a restoration company that now utilizes several branches. PatÕs teammates say that his strong opinionated spirit contributes to the team′s inability to always agree on the best course of action to take, but Pat cites this as part of his team′s ability to get people′s attention, which he believes will help them immensely. Pat is excited to complete this task and show that he can be as successful at TREASURE HUNTERS as he is in his personal and professional life.

Team Miss USA
Kaitlyn Christopher, 20, currently attends Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis where she is studying pre-veterinary medicine and is a Community Service Scholar. Kaitlyn hails from Kokomo, IN, and she represented her home state in the 2005 Miss USA pageant where she received the Critical Beauty award. She is a vet tech at an animal hospital and is also a part-time model. Recently, she was the cover girl and featured swimsuit model in the February issue of Indy Men′s Magazine. In her spare time, Kaitlyn likes to volunteer for an animal rescue organization, work out, watch football, and shop! She and her teammates are all ready for action and they will do anything to win TREASURE HUNTERS! Kaitlyn is excited to embark on this quest with the new friends she made while sharing the Miss USA pageant experience; they plan to use their brains, charm, and competitive spirits to help them win this challenge.

Kristen Johnson, 24, represented her home state of Kentucky in the 2005 Miss USA pageant and finished second runner up to Miss USA. She graduated summa cum laude with a 3.9 GPA from the University of Kentucky with a B.A. in Journalism. Having recently graduated from college, Kristen says she is ready for a new challenge and to explore the world. She has worked on her family′s farm since the age of twelve, but is currently working as a Chicago-based model and sales representative for Upper Class Collectibles fine sports art. Kristen believes that her team′s ultra-competitive spirit, paired with brains and tenacity is sure to make team Miss USA unbeatable!

Melissa Witek, 25, is the Miss Florida USA of her team, having represented the Sunshine State in the 2005 Miss USA pageant, and finished as the fourth runner up to Miss USA. Melissa graduated from the University of Florida with a B.S. in Public Relations and began her own business at the age of 22. She was the owner and President of a thriving company, Ampex Granite, Inc. Melissa has since left the granite world and now works as a senior sales executive for UCC Galleries, which is the exclusive representative of world-renowned sports artist Bill Lopa. An accomplished pianist, Melissa has also volunteered over 1500 hours with local Florida charities and was named one of Florida′s "Top 100 Power Players" by Florida International Magazine. Melissa is excited to travel the world and take risks with two of her Miss USA pageant friends and sees this as a great adventure and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Team Southie Boys
John Collins, 33, still resides in South Boston where he grew up with his best friends and teammates the Mullen twins. John graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Boston and now works as a Mortgage Consultant. John says that he regrets not moving to Los Angeles with the Mullen′s back in the mid 90′s. Their friendship as kids was more of a brotherhood and he hopes that the TREASURE HUNTERS experience will give him a chance to experience that brotherhood again. Having grown up with six older sisters, the Mullen twins meant the world to him. They became his brothers growing up, and that brotherhood continues, having grown stronger from the intensity of being a part of TREASURE HUNTERS. John is very athletic and ultra-competitive. Both he and the Mullen twins are driven, smart and focused. They know their intensity will be their edge in leading them to victory. He sends a big shout out to his daughter Isabella Mari and his son John Jr.

Matthew Mullen, 37, joins TREASURE HUNTERS with his twin brother Martin and best friend. Originally from Boston, Matthew currently lives in Westchester, CA. Matthew graduated from North Adams State College with a B.A. in Sociology and now works as a firefighter for the LAFD. Matthew and his twin brother are inseparable, but admits that teammate John is often referee to their fights. The Southie Boys travel together constantly and are always looking for a new adventure, TREASURE HUNTERS being their latest quest. Matthew cites his team′s cleverness and eloquence as their greatest strengths, saying that they can easily "talk a hungry dog off a meat wagon."

Martin Mullen, 37, moved with his twin brother Matthew from Boston to Marina del Ray, CA eleven years ago. Martin, currently a LAFD firefighter, graduated from North Adams State College where he studied Sociology and Business. The Mullens and their teammate John are as close as brothers and are always boisterous and hilarious when they get together. Martin and his teammates travel together often and he knows that their personalities will make a big impact on the show. The Southie Boys are representing their native Boston and Martin vows that they will give 100% to win TREASURE HUNTERS.

Team Young Professionals
Drew J. Brown IV, 26, was born in Plano, TX and grew up as a navy brat moving numerous times before finally settling in Memphis, TN for junior high all the way through high school. Playing basketball, baseball and running track for the school took up most of his time and energy, but he was also involved in many student council and leadership programs around the city. Next, he was off to Austin, TX to play basketball for the Longhorns of the University of Texas. This is where his competitive nature and understanding of a teamwork approach to accomplishing a goal was sharpened. He graduated with a B.S. in Biology in 2001. Before beginning medical school, he lived with his sister, Taryn, in New York City for the summer where their relationship as best friends was solidified. He currently lives in Boston, MA, where he just graduated from Tufts University School of Medicine with an M.D. After graduation he plans to travel this upcoming year to Australia, where he will be working with a team of Orthopaedic surgeons conducting spinal research. During his free time he will be traveling with a team of ichthyologists studying the elusive Great White Shark′s feeding and breeding patterns. After returning to the states, he will pursue a career in Orthopaedic surgery. Drew is also an avid scuba diver and has always had a vested interest in herpetology. He lives with a nine-foot Burmese Python, Wally, which he has cared for over the past 8 years. In his spare time he loves riding dirt bikes and motorcycles, weight training, reading novels, and learning about various cultures and religions. Drew′s teammates for this competition are his sister, Taryn, and their life long family friend Chandra. Their families met on a cruise sixteen years prior and have remained close ever since.

Taryn Brown, 28, is competing on TREASURE HUNTERS with her brother, Drew, and friend, Chandra. Originally a southern girl, Taryn currently resides in New York City. She graduated from the University of Texas with a B.A. in Government and is preparing to attend law school in September 2006. She has done political and non-profit fundraising for the past two years and spent a year studying and living in Japan right out of college. Taryn played basketball at the University of Texas and was named Athlete of the Year in high school. Taryn says that it′s her team′s drastic differences in personality and thought that will give them the diversified edge above the competition.

Chandra Lewis, 26, met her teammates on a cruise many years ago and their families have been close ever since. Chandra graduated from the University of Houston with a B.A. in Advertising. Since graduating, she has had a career in Public Relations and Fashion. Chandra was a competitive swimmer for 13 years, until being diagnosed with tendonitis forced her to give up the sport. Chandra says that her team′s intelligence and inquisitive nature is their biggest strength, whereas their stubbornness may be their downfall. She currently lives with her fiance in Edgewater, New Jersey, although she is originally from Austin, TX. They are expecting twins in August.

Team Grad Students
Kathleen Krapfl, 26, also works as a bartender and has been best friends with her teammates, the Schilling girls, for five years. Kat graduated from San Diego State University with a B.A. in Communications and is currently pursuing her Masters degree in History at SDSU. She is skilled in many different types of sports and is a marathon runner along with the rest of her team. Kathleen says that her team′s greatest strength is their ability to work well together and their effervescent charm and glowing personalities.

Jessica Schilling, 27, joins TREASURE HUNTERS with her identical twin sister and best friend. Jessica holds down two jobs, working as an office manager at a realty company and as a bartender while she figures out her exact career path. Jessica graduated from San Diego State University with a Masters degree in Psychology. Jessica knows that their competition will judge her team and underestimate their intelligence, but the girls plan on using this as their secret weapon.

Melissa Schilling, 27, is a graduate of San Diego State University, where she earned a B.S. in Criminal Justice and Psychology. Melissa now lives in San Diego, but is originally from Lemoore, CA with her twin sister and teammate Jessica. Melissa currently works as a bartender is also pursuing her Masters degree in Religious Studies at the University of California, San Diego. Melissa cites her love of adventure books and films as a driving force for her interest in TREASURE HUNTERS and welcomes the challenges it may bring, even if it means taming snakes or mastering a can of self-tanner. She also believes what distinguishes her from her sister is her gift laughs and being a natural joker, as Jessica is the serious one.

Monday, May 29, 2006

iTunes Lands NBC News Specials And Documentary Video Programming

NBC News To Offer News And Documentary Video Programming On The iTunes Music Store

NBC News Becomes the First News Organization to Offer Programs for Purchase at iTunes

NBC News has announced that America′s number one news organization is offering a collection of video news and documentary programming for purchase and download from the iTunes Music Store. Programming will include not only some of the best news and documentary programs and great television moments from NBC News, but also new programs produced especially for iTunes.

"Partnering with iTunes on the news side - in addition to what we′ve already done on the entertainment side - makes perfect sense," said Jeff Zucker, Chief Executive Officer, NBC Universal Television Group. "Partnering the leading brand in video downloads with the undisputed leader of news and information is a winning combination, and we are thrilled to be further extending our relationship with iTunes in this unique way."

"We′re thrilled to have NBC News video programming available for purchase on iTunes," said Eddy Cue, Apple′s vice president of iTunes. "Customers now have the ability to download a wide selection of current and historical news and documentary programming from NBC News, MSNBC and CNBC."

Programming from NBC News will be priced at $1.99 per download, and includes a wide selection of current and historical programming from NBC News, CNBC and MSNBC. The initial list of titles follows in this release, and additional offerings will be available on a regular basis.

"By being the first news organization to offer programs for purchase at iTunes, we are once again demonstrating NBC News′ commitment to reaching our audience where and when they want us," said Steve Capus, President, NBC News. "Giving Americans access to some of the great programming and history of NBC News makes this even more exciting. From the legendary 1962 Jacqueline Kennedy White House Tour to a rare 1987 interview with the band U2, offered in its entirety for the first time, there is something here for everyone."

NBC News is also showcasing some unique "Time Capsule" programs produced in a digital-only format available only on iTunes. Hosted by "NBC Nightly News" Anchor and Managing Editor Brian Williams, initial offerings include "In His Own Words" programs on both John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon, featuring rare and exclusive interviews from the NBC News Archives.

"As the leading news organization on the planet, we have an incredible reach, a massive archive and a unique ability to package our material together in an iPod-friendly format," said Williams. "We cover the world every day -- this is an opportunity for our viewers to carry it around in the palm of their hand." Other highlights from NBC News on iTunes include Williams′ first-person account of covering Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath; Tom Brokaw′s "Greatest Generation" reports -- three programs that served as companions to his best-selling books; and "Meet the Press" moderator Tim Russert′s "Meet the Presidents" series: complete episodes of "Meet the Press," available for the first time and including special new introductions from Russert.

NBC News programming has already found a successful home on iTunes with its many podcasts. Over the past eleven months, an average of 500,000 customers per month have downloaded NBC News audio podcasts, a number that continues to increase each month. This newest video offering at iTunes continues NBC News′ leadership in digital media. NBC News content is featured prominently on its joint venture website MSNBC.COM, on the industry-leading NBC Mobile service and on NBC News Radio.

Following is a complete list of NBC News titles currently available on iTunes:

Secrets to the Code - a look at the controversy surrounding The DaVinci Code
In His Own Words: Brian Williams on Hurricane Katrina
Ronald Reagan: The Great Communicator
America′s Astronauts: From Mercury to Apollo to Today
Outbreak: Could It Happen Here?
On Borrowed Time: The Great American Earthquake

John F. Kennedy: In His Own Words (new program, with Brian Williams)
Richard M. Nixon: In His Own Words (new program, with Brian Williams)
Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Tour -- one of the most-watched programs in television history, from February 1962.
Martin Luther King Jr.: Look Here -- a rare and in-depth interview from 1957.
U2: The Rona Elliott Interview -- an extended 1987 conversation with the entire band, seen here in its entirety for the first time. And as a bonus feature, Tom Snyder′s interview with U2′s Bono and The Edge in 1981 - their first appearance on American television.

The Greatest Generation
D-Day: A Leap into History
The Greatest Generation Speaks
The Long War -- a look at the global war on terror
Inside the Real West Wing
Sudden Impact: Drunk Driving

(complete episodes of Meet the Press, with introductions by Tim Russert)
John F. Kennedy: January 3, 1960
Lyndon Johnson: October 9, 1960
Richard Nixon: April 10, 1988
Gerald Ford: November 9, 1975
Jimmy Carter: January 20, 1980
Ronald Reagan: January 9, 1966

Vegas Homicide: Death in the Desert
Vegas Homicide: A Killer′s Confession
Inside Evil: Jeffrey Dahmer
Inside Evil: Son of Sam
Tattoos: Skin Deep
Cops Caught on Tape
Extreme Fighting

Inside San Quentin
Return to Rikers
Inside Riverbend

The Age of Wal-Mart
Mad Money: Know Thyself
Mad Money: Making Moves
Mad Money: Road Rules

ABC Examines The Crisis Of The Foster Care System

A Call To Action: Saving Our Children

Diane Sawyer Takes on Foster Care, on PRIMETIME, Thursday, June 1

ABC News Investigates America′s Foster Care Crisis, June 1, 2 and 3

In an unparalleled call to action, Diane Sawyer and the resources of ABC News look at the crisis of the foster care system and at ways children can be saved. Sawyer casts a light on young fractured lives, as she takes a rare look at foster care across the country. With unprecedented access -- bringing cameras where they have never been before - she explores a system many consider broken, but one that is struggling to change. CALLING ALL ANGELS, a PRIMETIME report, airs on Thursday, June 1 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. As part of a News-division wide call to action, additional reports on foster care will air on GOOD MORNING AMERICA, WORLD NEWS TONIGHT, NIGHTLINE and 20/20 throughout Thursday, June 1, Friday, June 2 and Saturday, June 3.

According to the latest statistics, just over 800,000 children pass through the system every year, more than 500,000 of whom are taken into foster care. For them, the average length of stay is 31 months. A third are in the system for more than three years; 17 percent are in foster care for five or more years; and foster children have on average three different placements. There are currently more than 100,000 foster children available for adoption.

Beyond the statistics and headlines about abuses, Sawyer reveals the human stories - the sagas of endurance, of hope, of unforgettable children wise beyond their years. Her in-depth report looks at the issue from several perspectives, including the effects on children being moved from home to home; what life is like for social workers; the effects of substance-abusing parents; and how the system′s failures can result in the neglect and even death of children. And with each problem and challenge, there are seeds of hope exposed - discovering innovative approaches to real solutions that are working for children and families across the country. Following is an overview of next week′s PRIMETIME:

First: Sawyer looks at the children who are in the system, and those who have made it out. They tell her their stories of being bounced around from home to home, and how they would fix the system. Sawyer then goes home to Louisville, KY, and visits a unique state-funded institution called Maryhurst that tries to save some of the most vulnerable and damaged girls. There she sits down with young girls whose gripping stories provide rare insight into the disturbing effects on kids when they′ve been moved from home to home, and into abuses they have suffered. Sawyer discovers that having one loving and stable adult in a damaged child′s life can make all the difference.

Then: Often foster care placement is due to substance abuse, making kids the collateral damage of their parents′ addiction. An epidemic of methamphetamine use has translated to a flood of children into the foster system from parents who cannot parent. In Oregon, the number of foster care children has increased by nearly 50 percent over the past three years. PRIMETIME accompanies police and child welfare workers from Salem as they remove children from parents suspected of using meth, and discovers the alarming conditions kids are found in. According to Jason Walling, head of Child Protection Services in Marion County, "It [meth] has led to the most devastating crisis that our community has ever seen... children are ripped from their families. The impact is immense." But solutions arise as well, when -- due to shortage of foster homes -- local leaders call upon the religious community to provide foster homes.

And: Back in Louisville, Sawyer follows a veteran social worker, Sky Tanghe, to get a true sense of what a day in her life is like. Her daily decisions range from deciding whether parents are lying about hitting their child to whether a child needs to be removed from her home and put in a strange place. Tanghe gives everything she can to the 19 families she serves, and goes to bed every night hoping that the deisions she made that day have kept a child out of harm's way. Constantly on the run, she wonders how social workers in some states can possibly handle the 50 to 60 cases on their plates. Also: From New York to California -- the stories of abuse, neglect and even death that can happen when the system fails to protect kids. Sawyer reports on a story in Los Angeles of Sarah Chavez, a girl who was thriving in the care of two foster mothers, but was returned to the biological family - and was dead a few months later. The outraged foster mothers talk exclusively to Sawyer, as does the girl′s biological mother.

In addition to PRIMETIME, ABC News programs will be reporting on the foster care. Programming is scheduled to include the following:

* GOOD MORNING AMERICA features Chris Cuomo′s exclusive interview with Tre′shawn Mitchell, formerly Keith Mitchell, one of four brothers found emaciated and allegedly beaten by adoptive parents in New Jersey. The morning show also reports on solutions, success stories and how people can foster or adopt.

* WORLD NEWS TONIGHT reports on a program in Pittsburgh that focuses on an alternative to foster care and the trend to internet adoption.

* NIGHTLINE′s Cynthia McFadden follows young people who are aging out of foster care, with nowhere to go and few resources.

* 20/20 takes a second look at a thriving program to help get foster children placed for adoption by having professionals photograph them.

* reports further on the foster care with results from an ABC News/Time Magazine poll on foster care.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

TOP CHEF Finale Was Highest Rated Cable Series Of Night - Harold Dieterle Wins

Over 1.5 million total viewers tuned into the finale of Bravo′s culinary competition series TOP CHEF as the no-nonsense Harold Dieterle was named the first season winner, confirming the show′s status as the Number One food show on cable so far this year in the 18-49 and 25-54 demos. The finale was also the top rated original series on cable in the key 18-49 and 25-54 demos. The hit series grew steadily throughout its debut season, building 99% among total viewers, 92% among P18-49 and 142% among P25-54 since its first 10:00 p.m. installment on March 15.

"TOP CHEF′s cast of passionate personalities and their outstanding creative work in the kitchen consistently delivered dramatic entertainment for viewers week after week, and it shows with these numbers in just its first season," said Lauren Zalaznick, President, Bravo. "This show appeals to a wide audience of foodies and non-foodies alike, and we are proud of Harold′s accomplishment. Bravo looks forward to serving up even more delicious drama and meeting a new group of talented chefs for season two."

The May 24 finale episode of TOP CHEF garnered a 1.4 HH coverage rating and over one million viewers in both the 18-49 and 25-54 demos. Versus the program′s prior series average, last night′s finale telecast was up by 27% among total viewers, 18% among adults 18-49 and 34% among adults 25-54.

Overall, season one of TOP CHEF averaged a 1.1 HH coverage rating, over 1.2 million total viewers (up 209% from year-ago time period averages), 866,000 viewers 18-49 (up 255% year-to-year) and 819,000 viewers 25-54 (up 223% year-to-year).

Top Chef also sizzled this season with its successful interactive TV component. Bravo and NBC Universal Cable entered into an interactive partnership with Time Warner Cable for TOP CHEF, each week inviting viewers to respond with their remote control to a series of topical questions that pop up on the screen during each episode. Responses were highlighted through an on-screen graphic, allowing viewers to see how others responded in real time in their local markets. Twenty five percent of TOP CHEF viewers in the feature′s available markets participated in the interactive polling feature during last night′s finale, building an impressive 500% from the March premiere of the series.

The TOP CHEF finale featured live voting results across three platforms -- cable remote, mobile text messaging and online -- which is the first time this multi-platform strategy has ever been applied in the U.S. Viewers voted for which chef - Harold or Tiffani - they felt deserved the title of TOP CHEF, and the results were displayed on screen in real time during the episode.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

THE MESSENGERS Coming To TLC Searching For The Next Great Inspirational Speaker

The Learning Channel Searches For The Next Great Inspirational Speaker With New Series, THE MESSENGERS

The Messengers Features the Power and Emotion of the Spoken Word

The power and force of the spoken word and the motivation it inspires form the essence of the new TLC series, THE MESSENGERS. This eight-part series kicks off with a 2-hour premiere on Sunday, July 23 from 9-11 PM (ET/PT); subsequent episodes air Sundays from 10-11 PM (ET/PT). THE MESSENGERS showcases 10 speakers from a variety of perspectives and their ability to communicate the many complexities of some of life′s toughest lessons, addressing issues viewers face in their everyday lives and communities. In the end, THE MESSENGERS is built around a simple but lofty goal: to find America′s next great inspirational speaker.

"THE MESSENGERS is an innovative and uplifting series with challenging individual experiences that act as a catalyst for the celebration of inspirational public speaking in contemporary America. The participants really have to walk the walk before they can talk the talk,"" said David Abraham, executive vice president and general manager for TLC.

The foundation of each episode is a field trip designed to give the speakers a profound learning experience - the opportunity to live life by walking in someone else′s shoes. In the first episode, the participants face the harsh reality of homelessness by spending 24 hours on the streets of Skid Row and then deliver speeches based on the topic of charity. In subsequent episodes, field trips range from the participants living as a blind or wheelchair-bound individual for a day, to sharing in a powerful moment of forgiveness between a man convicted of vehicular homicide and the deceased′s mother. At the end of each field trip, the group is given their speaking topic - one simple word such as hope, perseverance or forgiveness to use as the basis for their speeches. Over the next 24 hours, the speakers blend their in-field experiences with their own life lessons to create powerful speeches of motivation for a studio audience. After each speech is delivered, a panel comprising of public speaking experts Richard Greene and Bobby Schuller offers valuable commentary and criticism to the participants. Richard Greene, author of Words That Shook The World, is a speech advisor and public speaking analyst who gives the speakers constructive guidance on their delivery, technique and content development. Bobby Schuller, a pastor at the Crystal Cathedral in Southern California and grandson of Reverend Robert H. Schuller, focuses his guidance on the content and emotional connection the speakers make with the studio audience.

At the conclusion of each episode, one person is eliminated by the studio audience′s vote until one speaker is crowned THE MESSENGER and awarded a publishing deal and the opportunity to host his or her own TLC television special.

The Messengers is produced by Original Productions with executive producers Thom Beers and Tom McMahon and series producer Deboriah Dupree. For TLC, Elizabeth Browde is executive producer and David Abraham is executive-in-charge of production and general manager.

A Family With 16 Kids - The Duggars Head Off On Vacation For Discovery Health Channel

This Year′s Discovery Health Channel Baby Week Kicks Off With A Duggar Family Special June 11 And Continues June 12-16!

BABY WEEK is back on Discovery Health Channel. And who is more qualified to lead-in to a week of baby programming than the proud parents of 16 children!

Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar prepare viewers for a week of baby-themed programming with the premiere of ON THE ROAD WITH 16 CHILDREN, June 11 at 8 PM (ET/PT). In this sequel to 14 CHILDREN AND PREGNANT AGAIN!, the Duggars hit the road for a cross-country family adventure - Duggar style. Viewers are invited along for the ride as the family of 18 explores the Grand Canyon, wrangles horses at a dude ranch and marvels at Disneyland′s Magic Kingdom. From the detailed planning and packing to the astonished looks of strangers, the Duggars′ road trip promises to be a wild ride.

The Duggars′ vacation ends and BABY WEEK begins - kicking off June 12 at 8 PM (ET/PT). The annual special celebrates life and family, with an inside look into the wonders of childbirth and parenting. BABY WEEK has something for everyone by offering a variety of programs - from the miracle of multiples to inspiring stories of amazing births.

Friday, May 26, 2006

CMT Announces Renewals For Three Reality TV Series

Hot on the heels of the breakout hit series, TRICK MY TRUCK, CMT: Country Music Television, announces three series renewals, it was announced by Brian Philips, executive vice president and general manager, CMT.

TRICK MY TRUCK - September 2006
CMT′s newest breakout hit, TRICK MY TRUCK, returns with a second season of 24 episodes. TRICK MY TRUCK features the Chrome Shop Mafia, an eclectic collection of big rig truck mechanics, who search the truck stops of America for truck drivers whose rides need some drastic help. With customized paint jobs and outrageous detailing that transform each big rig into a work of art, The Mafia turns dreams into reality for some lucky truck drivers in need of a break. The first season of TRICK MY TRUCK will be available soon on CMT Mobile, and will premiere On Demand in August 2006, with future episodes to be scheduled. Exclusive content will be available on LOADED at TRICK MY TRUCK is produced by Varuna Films, Inc.

COWBOY U - SEASON 6 - First Quarter 2007
Now the longest running original series on CMT, COWBOY U returns for a sixth season with professional cowboys Rocco Wachman and Judd Leffew taking the reigns at a ranch in Colorado. The series takes eight city dwellers and trains them to become worthy of the title of "cowboy." Previous seasons of COWBOY U are available On Demand; ringtones featuring Rocco′s signature drawl are available via CMT Mobile with excerpts and contestant diaries available at on LOADED. COWBOY U is produced by Triage Entertainment.


Tough-talking founder of the legendary New York City bar Coyote Ugly, Liliana Lovell, hits the road in search of the ultimate Coyote in a second season of the CMT original series THE ULTIMATE COYOTE UGLY SEARCH. Coyote wannabes face grueling auditions as they perfect the art of bar flair in search of bartending fame and fortune. Sneak peeks, photo galleries and more are available on LOADED at THE ULTIMATE COYOTE UGLY SEARCH is produced by Touchdown Television.

MTV Espanol Presents WE ARE 30 MILLION: CONVERSATIONS WITH THE CANDIDATES - Mexico Presidential Race

MTV Espanol (MTV Tr3s), Targeting Latino Youth In The U.S., Will Simulcast MTV Latin America′s WE ARE 30 MILLION: CONVERSATIONS WITH THE CANDIDATES

In An Unprecedented Move All Five Mexican Presidential Candidates Turn To MTV Latin America To Speak To Mexican Youth

Candidates Recognize The Importance Of The Youth Vote By Showing Their "Hip" And "Serious" Sides Answering Young Voters′ Questions On MTV Latin America

Youth Ages 18 to 34 and Artists Natalia Lafourcade, Belanova, Motel, Lu, Panda, Among Others, Ask Their Questions to the Presidential Candidates

Starting On Monday, May 29th, MTV Latin America and MTV Espanol (MTV Tr3s) and Will Air Five Half-Hour Episodes Each Night in Alphabetical Order: Felipe Calderon (May 29th), Roberto Campa (May 30th), Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (May 31st), Roberto Madrazo (June 1st) and Patricia Mercado (June 2nd)

The Special will Air Commercial Free and be Available Across Multiple Platforms Including Via Podcast at, and at, MTV Latin America′s Broadband Website

The consortium "We are 30 Million" formed by MTV Latin America, Tu Rock es Votar and Fundacion Todos Participando ( announced today the airing of MTV Latin AmericaÕs production, WE ARE 30 MILLION: CONVERSATIONS WITH THE CANDIDATES, an extraordinary series of interviews directed to young people with the five candidates for Mexico′s next presidential election. The most important personalities in Mexican politics will speak with MTV Latin America′s news anchor Ilana Sod who will present them with questions from Mexican youth and talent. This marks the first time that all the country′s presidential candidates speak to their youngest voters about issues relevant to them on the same show, recognizing the importance of their vote, which according to IFE (Federal Electoral Institute) represents 30 million votes, 45% of the electorate. MTV Espanol (MTV Tr3s), targeting Latino youth in the U.S. will simultaneously air the MTV Latin America special in five half-hour episodes commercial-free. The special will feature each of the five presidential candidates in alphabetical order starting with Felipe Calderon (May 29th), Roberto Campa (May 30th), Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (May 31st), Roberto Madrazo (June 1st) and Patricia Mercado (June 2nd), each night at 9:30pm/ET.

Moreover, full versions of the interviews will be made available at (in Podcast format), (MTV Latin America′s website for broadband users), and

The "We are 30 Million" consortium, created to encourage youth in Mexico to get informed and vote in the country′s next presidential elections on July 2nd, gathered young voters from throughout Mexico and artists such as Natalia Lafourcade, Jose Maria Yazpik, Belanova, Motel, Lu, Liquits, Ha-Ash, Patricia Llaca, Panda and Juan Manuel Bernal, among others, to ask the candidates questions on the issues they care most about, from employment, security, health and education. In MTV Latin America′s special, the candidates are submitted to serious, irreverent and original questions, from "How do you plan to make it easier for young people to get their first job?", "What would you do to foster education, culture and the arts?", "Have you ever stolen anything?", "Have you ever smoked pot?" "What do you think of gay marriage?" and "When was the last time you lied?" The presidential candidates will do their best to prove themselves worthy of the youth vote, and Ilana Sod will moderate to ensure that no question goes unanswered.

"When we created ′We are 30 Million′, we had two objectives: to encourage young people to get informed about the political process and to promote the importance of Mexico′s youth vote in the next presidential election; so we′re thrilled to have accomplished this through this ground-breaking initiative," commented Carlos Magana, Country Manager, MTV Networks Mexico. "WE ARE 30 MILLION: CONVERSATIONS WITH THE CANDIDATES, offers a unique opportunity for kids in Mexico to get to know a new, more relaxed and informal side of the five presidential candidates and to hear their plans on the issues that affect youth the most," added Magana.

"For us it′s been a great experience to get an up-close look at each presidential candidate′s proposals, and we′re confident that youth will feel the same way watching the show," said Andres Rivera, founder, Tu Rock es Votar AC.

WE ARE 30 MILLION: CONVERSATIONS WITH THE CANDIDATES is an opportunity for youth to engage the candidates on issues important to them and to hear from the candidates about their plans," said Enrique Davis, President, Fundacion Todos Participando ( "The fact that all the presidential candidates participated shows their increased interest in young people, so let′s hope that whoever wins really looks after their concerns."

MTV Latin America launched its "We are 30 Million" initiative as part of its MTV Grita campaign, which encompasses the network′s social responsibility efforts designed to galvanize youth to express themselves and get informed on the issues that concern them and to make positive changes in their lives and communities. Form more information, visit

Since 1992, MTV‰s around the world have been committed to informing youth about the political and social issues they care about, through special initiatives such as "Choose or Lose" for the presidential elections in the U.S. and forums between youth and political leaders, including Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Nelson Mandela and Colin Powell.

Nick Announces Let′s Just Play Go Healthy Challenge - Preventing Childhood Obesity

Let′s Just Play Go Healthy Challenge Role Models Give First Progress Report on Nickelodeon Sunday, June 4, 8:30 p.m. ET/PT

Almost 26,000 Kids Nationwide Have Signed Up to Participate in the Challenge

Personal Video Diaries of the Four Real Kids Unveiled June 5 on TurboNick
Public Service Announcements Featuring Former President Clinton and Governor Mike Huckabee Debut on Nickelodeon June 1

The next installment of the Let′s Just Play Go Healthy Challenge, which focuses on four kids′ real life struggles and successes to make their lives healthier over a five month period, airs Sunday, June 4, 2006, 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on Nickelodeon.

The 12 minute segment on June 4 will update viewers on the progress of 11-year-old Chris, the "Activist"; 13-year-old Bianca, the "Emerging Athlete"; 14-year-old Wes, the "Barrier Breaker"; and 11-year-old Ayesha, the "Health Warrior", as they take first steps towards a healthier lifestyle. The role models will meet their local "challenge" coaches for the first time, who help guide each of the kids in their action plans towards healthier lifestyles.

TurboNick, Nickelodeon′s online broadband video service available on, will debut personal footage from the four role models personal video diaries on June 5, after the on-air update. This streaming content of the kids will take a deeper look behind-the-scenes of their daily challenges and conquests.

Across the country, kids have been inspired by the Let′s Just Play Go Healthy Challenge, a program by Nickelodeon and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation - a joint initiative of the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation. In just three weeks time, almost 26,000 kids, from every state in the U.S., have signed up on to take the Let′s Just Play Go Healthy Challenge on their own. More than 2 million total viewers tuned into the Let′s Just Play Go Healthy Challenge kick-off special on April 30 when the campaign launched, with almost 65,000 streams on TurboNick since the campaign launched.

Beginning June 1, Nickelodeon will debut two new public service announcements (PSAs) on-air, one featuring President Clinton and another featuring Governor Mike Huckabee. As part of Nickelodeon′s partnership with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, President Clinton and Governor Huckabee participated in PSAs for the network that speak to kids about why it′s important to stay healthy and active, speaking about their personal experiences as kids. These will join the roster of PSAs already on Nick′s air, which focus on various health and wellness aspects such as the importance of breakfast, and the network′s "How to be Well" series.

Also in June, Nickelodeon and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation will begin to roll out a community activation plan surrounding the LetÕs Just Play Go Healthy Challenge. Aimed at building awareness among young people about the importance of eating well and being physically fit, and empowering kids and families to be agents of change in their communities, the plan will include partnering with local state officials, network affiliates, and campaign partners to instill the Challenge in their communities. Local Let′s Just Play Go Healthy Challenge events will also take place during August and September.

Nickelodeon magazine also features Let′s Just Play Go Healthy Challenge monthly activities and stories to inspire kids and encourage them to participate. The August issue will feature tips from both tennis superstar Serena Williams and skateboarding guru Tony Hawk about getting into a new sport, just like the "Emerging Athlete" in the Let′s Just Play Go Healthy Challenge.

The Let′s Just Play Go Healthy Challenge will culminate in a celebration of the kids on-air and all the kids around the nation who have taken part in the movement to get healthy with NickelodeonÕs third annual Worldwide Day of Play on September 30, 2006. During Worldwide Day of Play, the network goes dark both on-air and online with only graphics telling kids to get up, go out side and play.

About The Alliance for a Healthier Generation

The Clinton Foundation and the American Heart Association partnered in May of 2005 to create a new generation of healthy Americans by addressing one of the nation′s leading public health threats Ð- childhood obesity. The initiative will focus on preventing childhood obesity and creating healthier lifestyles for children overall.

The Alliance aims to target several areas that the group hopes will spark change and slow the increasing rates of childhood obesity in the U.S., and encourage healthier lifestyles for young people. The effort will focus on four key areas: industry; schools, healthcare professionals and kids.

For more information on the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, please visit:

FINDING MISS AMERICA Coming This Fall To CMT - Viewers Will Be Given The Opportunity To Vote

CMT: Country Music Television, has announced a new reality series FINDING MISS AMERICA - which is scheduled to premiere in the First Quarter 2007.

This one-hour, seven episode documentary series follows the 52 Miss America finalists through the preliminary competitions prior to the 2007 MISS AMERICA PAGEANT.

For the first time in the Pageant′s 85-year history, viewers will be given the opportunity to cast their votes via phone and for their favorite contestants, thereby determining finalists to compete in the Pageant.

In addition, viewers will get an inside look at the crucial, never-before-seen judges interview portion of the preliminary competition. will feature exclusive on-demand coverage via LOADED, along with weekly bonus footage available on CMT Mobile.

FINDING MISS AMERICA is produced by PB&J Television.


A new reality series DALLAS COWBOYS CHEERLEADERS: MAKING THE TEAM is scheduled to premiere on CMT: Country Music Television, in September.

DALLAS COWBOYS CHEERLEADERS: MAKING THE TEAM began as a two-hour special last November and is now an eight episode series that goes behind-the-scenes of the sacred tryouts of professional football′s most famous cheerleaders.

The half-hour series follows the 2006 squad from open auditions to the first home game where the girls must prove their mettle or leave the field.

Exclusive content will be available on LOADED at and on wireless at CMT Mobile.

DALLAS COWBOYS CHEERLEADERS: MAKING THE TEAM is produced by Triage Entertainment.

Sean "Diddy" Combs And MTV Team Up - Announce Dance Competition Project

Sean "Diddy" Combs′ Bad Boy Entertainment And MTV Announce Dance Competition Project As Part Of First-Look Production Agreement

Dance Competition Pilot To Spotlight Street Dance Troupes Across the Country

Sean "Diddy" Combs′ Bad Boy Entertainment and MTV: Music Television today announced a pilot agreement for an untitled dance competition series. The project will focus on street dance troupes from around the country as they train, compete, and express themselves. The announcement is part of a larger first-look, overall production agreement for future television projects between Bad Boy Entertainment and MTV. Combs will provide executive producer services for the dance competition pilot.

"Dance is one of the truest forms of expression, and there is a new cultural phenomenon emerging in different communities across America - young men and women are forming these dance troupes as a way to stay off the streets and out of the pitfalls of their everyday lives," commented Diddy. "This show will showcase the drive, determination and expression of this dance generation - picture Rocky but with dance troupes."

Diddy and MTV have had a highly productive working relationship over the years which has included hosting of the 2005 VMAs, executive producing "Run′s House," starring in and executive producing "Making the Band 3," as well as hit music videos, multiple show stopping performances at the VMAs, and the ground-breaking campaign partnership between P. Diddy′s "Vote or Die" and MTV′s "Choose or Lose" during the 2004 presidential election.

Sean "Diddy" Combs, recently declared "One of The Most Influential Businessman In The World" by Time magazine and CNN, and Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group (BBWEG) is one of the world′s preeminent urban entertainment companies, encompassing a broad range of businesses including recording, music publishing, artist management, television and film production, recording facility, marketing and advertising, apparel and restaurants. With a collection of businesses whose annual sales are quickly approaching $500 million annually and an employee base that is 600 strong, Mr. Combs is largely responsible for the popular appeal of urban entertainment. Formed in 1994, the flagship company of BBWEG is Bad Boy Records. Today, Bad Boy′s annual sales have reached an overall average of $100 million with more than 75 million records sold worldwide by an impressive artist roster which includes multi-platinum acts the Notorious B.I.G., Mase, 112, Dream and P. Diddy; platinum artists Faith Evans, Carl Thomas and Black Rob; gold artists Total and Craig Mack; and promising up-and-coming artists such as G. Dep, Loon and Cheri Denis. Bad Boy recently moved to 1710 Broadway. New York is the corporate headquarters housing all Combs′ business entities.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Down To Final Two On THE APPRENTICE - Viewers To Help Donald Trump Decide

It′s Down To The Final Two On NBC′s THE APPRENTICE, Monday, May 29 9-10 PM ET/PT

Viewers To Help Trump Determine The Next Apprentice

Lee, a business analyst and Sean, a recruitment consultant take on their toughest tasks yet on NBC′s THE APPRENTICE, (Monday, May 29 at 9-10 p.m. ET/PT). Donald Trump will issue the final two tasks, which will unfold over the next two episodes beginning this week and resulting in the ultimate boardroom hiring of the fifth APPRENTICE on June 5, live from The Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles (9:30-11pm ET).

Beginning at the end of Monday′s episode and for the first time in APPRENTICE history, viewers can tell Trump who he should hire and ultimately be entered to win a Grand Prize random drawing of $30,000 by sending a text message or logging onto Viewers will have the entire week to submit their vote, as well as questions on that Trump could ask the candidates during the final boardroom. The results of America′s favorite candidate will be presented to Trump during the live finale before he makes his decision.

This week, Sean and Lee are reunited with their former team members and have the tough assignment of re-hiring four candidates each to help them with their final task. One finalist faces off with a tough executive while putting on a Pontiac celebrity hockey event benefiting the ′Dennis Leary Fire Fighter Foundation,′ while the other tries to please a crowd while staging a Barenaked Ladies Concert in Atlantic City benefiting the ′World Wildlife Foundation.′

Sean (London) is leading the voting polls with 34 percent while Lee (New York) trails behind with 22 percent.

Additionally, viewers of NBC′s THE APPRENTICE can roll in the dough this week with a Grand Prize random drawing of $10,000 by playing the live interactive "Get Rich With Trump" game. This week only viewers can submit who they think picked the best team by sending a text message from a cell phone or by logging onto Please log onto for complete rules.

"Synergy" - Sean
"Gold Rush" - Lee

TREASURE HUNTERS - Get A First Sneak Peak At New Summer Reality Series

A video sneak peak is now available from NBC for a brand new reality series TREASURE HUNTERS that will premiere June 18th.

In TREASURE HUNTERS, multi-player teams try to stay one step ahead of each other as they face intellectual and physical challenges in their quest of a promised hidden treasure. The teams must avoid elimination as they travel to historically significant locations where the must decipher cryptic codes and puzzles, each with a clue leading them closer to solving the ultimate puzzle and obtaining the coveted grand prize.

This video sneak peak is at

TLC Announces TAKE HOME CHEF With Master Chef Curtis Stone

TLC has announced a new reality series that takes home cooking to the next step.

TLC′s handsome master chef Curtis Stone picks up regular people in a grocery store, checks out what they are planning for dinner, and then works with them to surprise someone with a spectacular culinary creation.

Once the shopper signs on for the adventure, Curtis shops and then takes a trip to their house for a look at where and how they cook in real life. He rolls up his sleeves and together they prepare an amazing meal for a spouse, friend or someone special.

When the cooking is in its final phases and the dining room is ready, it′s time to watch as the surprised family member or friend comes home to find a house filled with TV cameras, lights, and our sexy Australian chef.

Then, it′s time for friends and family to sit down and partake in the fantastic meal that′s been prepared by their very own TAKE HOME CHEF.

TAKE HOME CHEF premieres Friday, June 16 at 8:00 PM (ET/PT) on TLC.

Taylor Hicks Wins AMERICAN IDOL SEASON 5 - Compilation Album In Stores Now

With over 63.4 million votes that were casted, Taylor Hicks won AMERICAN IDOL SEASON 5 last night.

Hicks, 29, of Birmingham, Alabama beat out runner-up Katharine McPhee, 22, of Los Angeles, California. With a star studded finale last night that included major pop stars such as Prince and Mary J Blige, Fox TV is celebrating as preliminary overnight ratings indicated that the finale will set record ratings for the network.

Also, a Compilation Album - AMERICAN IDOL SEASON 5 ENCORES Hits is currently in stores.

AMERICAN IDOL SEASON 5 ENCORES features the top 12 finalists singing their best performances from this season. Rocker Chris Daughtry offers his take on Bon Jovi′s "Wanted Dead or Alive." Kellie Pickler contributes her special version of Patsy Cline′s "Walkin' After Midnight." And AMERICAN IDOL Season 5 Winner, Taylor Hicks sings the classic, Doobie Brothers′ "Takin′ It to the Streets.".

Other performances include 17 year old, Paris Bennett, granddaughter of gospel singer Ann Nesby, uniquely updates Gladys Knight & the Pips' "Midnight Train to Georgia." Also 16, Kevin Covais impresses with his interpretation of the Nat King Cole classic, "When I Fall in Love." Katharine McPhee, lauded by the judges for her beauty and talent, sings Aretha Franklin′s "Think." Elliott Yamin, excels on James Moody′s "Moody′s Mood for Love." Dubbed "Man-Diva," Mandisa is outstanding on a song that was a hit for Chaka Khan and Whitney Houston, "I′m Every Woman." Heartthrob Ace Young does a turn on George Michael′s "Father Figure." Known for his country pipes, Bucky Covington sings the Stevie Ray Vaughn with Double Trouble arrangement of Stevie Wonder′s "Superstition." Teenager Lisa Tucker also turns to the Stevie Wonder songbook, with a perfect rendition of "Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I′m Yours." And Melissa McGhee sings a song the judges raved about, her version of Heart′s "What About Love."

The first four AMERICAN IDOL compilations have sold a combined total of 2.4 Million copies. Counting all of the contestants who have released albums since the series debuted in 2002, the AMERICAN IDOL franchise has sold over 19 million albums and 4.5 million singl


Court TV(R) and Lionsgate Present the Untold Story of the 9/11 Commission Report in the Riveting Feature Length Documentary Film Narrated by Kevin Costner and Hilary Swank

On Native Soil: The Documentary of the 9/11 Commission Report

Searing Film of the Events Leading Up to and Following 9/11 Makes World Television Premiere On Court TV Monday, August 21, 9 PM ET/PT

Lionsgate to Release Special Edition DVD That Contains More Than 30 Minutes of Extra Footage Along With Extensive Extra Features Tuesday, August 22

"Those who died on 9/11 ... deserve that the story of their deaths be told truthfully."

Sally Regenhard, whose son Christian, a New York firefighter, died at the World Trade Center

Court TV has secured the exclusive television rights and Lionsgate, the leading independent filmed entertainment studio, has acquired the DVD rights to the powerful and critically-acclaimed ON NATIVE SOIL: THE DOCUMENTARY OF THE 9/11 COMMISSION REPORT. Created with the support and involvement of 9/11 victims′ families, ON NATIVE SOIL: THE DOCUMENTARY OF THE 9/11 COMMISSION REPORT includes compelling, never-before-seen interviews from the family members as it focuses on the actual events of that day. Narrated by Academy Award(R) winners Kevin Costner and Hilary Swank, the documentary thoughtfully details the personal stories of tragedy and triumph that led to the formation of the 9/11 Commission and the publication of the Commission'′ landmark report.

For Court TV, the acquisition comes as part of the network′s initiative to buy four to six documentary feature films a year. The network will air the World Premiere of ON NATIVE SOIL: THE DOCUMENTARY OF THE 9/11 COMMISSION REPORT on Monday, August 21 at 9 pm ET/PT. Lionsgate brings an extended version of the revealing documentary to Special Edition DVD the following day, adding more than 30 minutes to the main program. The DVD will also contain extensive extra features including additional interviews with some of the family members from the film, a downloadable 9/11 commission report and interactive photo gallery.

"As a network, we strongly believe in the concept of transparency, and that is what this film is all about: it details how American citizens demanded that their government investigate and explain what went wrong that terrible day," said Court TV President Art Bell. "That the facts and findings of the Commission are presented in a compelling yet completely non-partisan, non-political way underscores the film′s importance as a historical document in its own right. We are honored to bring it to a wide audience."

Lionsgate President Steve Beeks added, "September 11, 2001 is the most documented and analyzed event in the history of our nation. This unbelievably important work not only brings the findings of the 9/11 Commission to light, but also reveals the human side of the tragedy through never-before-seen interviews, personal stories of triumph, and one of the most comprehensive collections of 9/11 footage ever assembled on film. This is a program that everyone should see."

Directed by three-time Emmy award-winning news and film producer Linda Ellman, the film faithfully captures the events of that day and our civilian and government response, whose strengths and weaknesses are outlined in the 9/11 Commission Report. ON NATIVE SOIL: THE DOCUMENTARY OF THE 9/11 COMMISSION REPORT has powerful narration from Costner and Swank and includes sit-down interviews with U.S. Senators John McCain, Joe Lieberman and former U.S. Senator and past 9/11 Commissioner Max Cleland. While presenting provocative new details and exclusive interviews, the film focuses on the human side of the largest terrorist assault ever to take place in the United States by examining the treatment of the events that led up to the 9/11 attacks and revealing the efforts by a group of citizens who worked together to ensure that the 9/11 Commission would be convened and information disseminated to the public.

"I was in lower Manhattan that horrible day," said Hilary Swank, "I was drawn to the project by the amazing stories of the 9/11 families and survivors featured in the film, and I am proud that by contributing my voice to the project, I can help their voices be heard."

"I saw this film in a rough cut and wanted to become involved," said Kevin Costner. "It′s honest, it′s serious and it′s not political. This film tells stories every American will and should want to know."

ON NATIVE SOIL: THE DOCUMENTARY OF THE 9/11 COMMISSION REPORT is a Jeff Hays Film and Ellman Entertainment production of a Linda Ellman film. It is executive produced by Jeff Hays and Linda Ellman, and directed by Ellman, whose credits include 13 years with NBC Network News.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 Offers Online Competition Of LAST COMIC STANDING will host their own online comedy competition in conjunction with NBC′s LAST COMIC STANDING when the Emmy-nominated series kicks off its fourth season on Tuesday, May 30 (8-10 p.m. ET; regular timeslot will be Tuesdays, 9-10 p.m. ET).

The special online competition will primarily feature comedians who make it to the semi-finals but don′t make it into the "house" Ð which in this season is actually the Queen Mary, the luxury ocean liner docked in Long Beach, CA. It will also include comedians who applied to be on the show but didn′t make it as far as the semi-finals.

Each week, comic performances of five comedians will be posted on, and viewers can watch their routines and vote online for their favorite performer. A total of 30 comics will be showcased during the online competition, with a winner chosen each week based on online voting.

In week seven, the six weekly winners will go head-to-head in an online "semi-final" round, which narrows the six finalists down to two. Then those two finalists will get primetime, national exposure when they perform on the penultimate episode of LAST COMIC STANDING, and viewers can vote for their favorite online finalist at

The ultimate winner of the online competition -- and the winner of the broadcast competition -- will both be revealed in the final episode of LAST COMIC STANDING.

PIMP MY RIDE Returns For New Season On MTV

MTV Rolls Out a Brand New Season of PIMP MY RIDE, Beginning Thursday, June 15th at 10:00 PM ET/PT

Xzibit Returns To Rev Up New Season With A New Garage

MTV announced today that the hit series PIMP MY RIDE will return for an all new season beginning Thursday, June 15th at 10pm ET/PT. For its new season, rap superstar and car enthusiast Xzibit and car customization specialist Mad Mike take aim on the biggest clunkers on the road. Joining them for this new season, and giving a new spin on car customization, is GAS - Galpin Auto Sports. Together Xzibit, Mad Mike and the crew at the shop will create unheard of, pimped out masterpieces in the all new season of PIMP MY RIDE.

This season Xzibit and Mad Mike, with some help from the guys at GAS, will take things to a whole new level. Accomplishing things that have never been done before, in this season of PIMP MY RIDE viewers will witness a 1988 Cadillac Limo hooked up with a 50" plasma screen movie theater, a 1995 Mitsubishi Galant with its own white fur chaise lounge, and a 1976 ice cream truck that is destined to go out of business remodeled with some 2006 technology.

In anticipation of the new season, MTV will schedule two 4-hour blocks of PIMP MY RIDE episodes, each block airing on consecutive Sundays in June, for a total of 8 hours of programming. The first block airs on June 4th from 5:00pm - 9:00pm. The second block airs on June 11th from 10:00am - 2:00pm. lends its support to PIMP MY RIDE by launching the Pimp My Ride/Lincoln Mark LT Sweepstakes. Each week users will come to the PIMP MY RIDE website and vote for one item featured on that week′s episode to be added to the Mark LT. The following week, Overdrive will feature a package showing the installation of the part that was voted on that week. At the end of the season the Mark LT will be given away to one lucky winner!

Overdrive will also offer viewers access to a segment of outtakes and deleted scenes. Full episodes will be available on MTV On Demand starting July 7th.

In addition, fans with mobile devices will be able to access features including the PIMP MY RIDE trailer, weekly outtakes from current season, "best of" clips from previous seasons and PIMP MY RIDE graphics available as downloadable wallpapers on

MAKING THE BAND 3: SEASON 3 Returns To MTV With Sean "Diddy" Combs

MTV announced today that it will introduce a new programming block for Thursday nights which will premiere on Thursday, June 15th. The new line-up will feature the return of some of MTV′s hugely successful and highly anticipated series including MAKING THE BAND 3.

Now in its third season, the series continues to chronicle Sean "Diddy" Combs applying his "golden touch" as he works with the five girls he chose to be in his all new girl pop group. This season, watch as Aubrey, Aundrea, Wanita, Dawn and Shannon get used to being in the band, learn to work together, record their first album, prepare to go on tour and live in a brand new loft in New York City′s Soho. Diddy is guaranteed to put a whole bunch of new challenges to keep his elite group of ladies in line.

To get fans up to speed on all the happenings from last season there will be a 5 1/2 hour marathon on Saturday, June 10th beginning at 2:00pm. During the marathon viewers will be able to get, simultaneously, on MTV Overdrive, a preview of the new season, "Diddy Knows Best" segments, which will feature Diddy′s best quotes and show descriptions. MTV On Demand will feature profiles of all 5 members of the band.

MTV Overdrive will also offer weekly deleted scenes/extended-play clips, as well as cast video playlists.

In addition, wireless will feature deleted scenes, cast bios, trailer for upcoming season, "Diddy Knows Best" segments and ringtones on

Winner Of LOOKING FOR STARS Gets Role In New Sci-Fi Thiller - NEXT

LOOKING FOR STARS Winner Gets Key Role In Revolution Studios′ Sci-Fi Thriller Next Starring Nicolas Cage And Julianne Moore

Starz′ 14-Episode Talent Search Micro-Series LOOKING FOR STARS To Premiere Monday, June 19 at 8:50 p.m. (ET/PT)

A speaking role in Revolution Studios′ upcoming action adventure movie NEXT, starring Nicolas Cage and Julianne Moore, is the grand prize for the one talented winner of Starz′ original reality micro-series LOOKING FOR STARS, Starz Entertainment Group (SEG) and Revolution Studios announced today. The series will follow nearly two-hundred contestants from their first auditions through the appearance of the winner on the film set. LOOKING FOR STARS will premiere at 8:50 p.m. (ET/PT) Monday, June 19 on Starz, and continue through September.

The 14-episode micro-series is the first reality show of its kind: each episode is just 10-minutes long. It continues SEG′s commitment to creating unconventional programming that provides entertainment on the Starz premium channel but is also perfectly suited for VOD, the Internet and portable players that are becoming increasingly popular.

Thousands of aspiring actors responded to Starz′ casting call in January and vied for the 300 audition spots for the chance to be in a major motion picture. Auditions were held in New York, Las Vegas, Orlando and Kansas City, with only eight semi-finalists getting tickets to the finals in Hollywood. Original MTV VJ Alan Hunter and two local industry pros did the judging in each city. In the final, Hunter is joined by actor/director Melanie Mayron ("thirtysomething" and "The Baby-Sitters Club") and Revolution Studios executive Brad Sexton, who will make the ultimate decision of who will be cast in a speaking role in NEXT.

"In each city we were met by a multitude of diverse and unique individuals, many with talent, some just looking for a chance to realize their 15 minutes of fame," said Hunter. "Truly though this is the chance of a lifetime for the winner. To call it anything else would be to underestimate the power of this show."

The regional industry professionals who joined Hunter for the initial auditions for LOOKING FOR STARS include: editor Jessica Coen and Fox 5 reporter Naamua Delaney in New York City; KVBC News entertainment reporter Alicia Jacobs, and former actor and Las Vegas Connection reporter Bart Torres in Las Vegas; sisters and co-owners of the Actors Info. Booth, Inc. Lisa and Laura Bunbury in Orlando; and actor/comedian Tidy Dillard, and The Agency talent agency owner Janis Kliethermes in Kansas City.

Revolution Studios′ science fiction action thriller Next stars Academy Award® winner Nicolas Cage and Academy Award® nominee Julianne Moore, as well as Jessica Biel and is being directed by Lee Tamahori. It will be released domestically by Columbia Pictures in 2007.

Cage plays a man with the unique ability to see future events and affect their outcome. Relentlessly pursued by the FBI, which is seeking to use his abilities to prevent a global terrorist threat, he is ultimately faced with the daunting choice of saving the world or the woman he loves.

LOOKING FOR STARS is SEG′s first foray into original serialized short-form programming and is sponsored by SEG in association with Revolution Studios. Encore episodes will air on Starz on the Sunday following each original episode and on Starz Edge on the Saturday following each original episode at 8:50 p.m. (ET/PT), plus it will be available to view on Starz On Demand and available for download on the new Vongo service. For more information visit the LOOKING FOR STARS webpage at