First there was "Fame" the 1980 movie, the music from which won Oscars for best original song ("Fame") and best original score. Then there was "Fame" the TV drama, which ran from 1982 to 1987, and fea

First there was "Fame" the 1980 movie, the music from which won Oscars for best original song ("Fame") and best original score. Then there was "Fame" the TV drama, which ran from 1982 to 1987, and featured Debbie Allen (who was in the movie) and Janet Jackson among its stars.

Now comes "Fame," the reality show/talent contest, which will debut this summer on NBC. Unlike the movie and TV series, which focused on a group of students attending New York's High School of the Performing Arts, the new "Fame" will be a nationwide talent search. Producers say they are looking for multitalented performers ages 16 and up. Celebrity judges will narrow down a field of contestants, and the audience will vote for the performers who will advance to the final rounds. Actor/choreographer Allen will have an on-camera role in the new show as she recruits contestants and leads a "boot camp" for the finalists.

"The enormous success of the movie 'Chicago,' as well as talents like J-Lo, Usher, and Justin Timberlake have rekindled the country's appetite for performers who sing, dance, and have that bigger-than-life presentation that have helped them achieve fame," Allen said in a statement. "I am looking forward to finding the best of the best."

"Fame" is the latest in a slew of TV talent contests that have emerged after the success of Fox's smash hit "American Idol." NBC also has "America's Most Talented Kid," which wraps its first season May 2. The network is also expected to debut "America's Most Talented Senior" this summer, while CBS is currently airing a revival of "Star Search."

USA network has its "Nashville Star" series in full swing, while MTV will debut "MTV's MC Battle" on May 14, and VH1 premieres "Born to Diva" on April 28. In addition, Fox will launch "American Juniors" (formerly titled "Junior Idol") for singers ages 6-to-13, with the show set to premiere May 27.

The following are the dates and locations for "Fame" auditions:

April 24: Miami, Gusman Center for the Performing Arts (10 a.m.-7 p.m.)
April 26: New York, New 42nd Street Studios (9 a.m.-6 p.m.)
April 29: Chicago, Chicago Center for the Performing Arts (10 a.m.-7 p.m.)
May 3: Los Angeles, Wadsworth Theatre (9 a.m.-6 p.m.)

Eligibility requirements and an audition song list can be found on the NBC Web site.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print