Aretha Franklin Dies
Cowell, NBC Tuning Up Vegas Show
The minds behind "American Idol" have landed a deal with NBC for a new variety talent competition series to launch in the summer, the network said yesterday (Feb. 2).The minds behind "American Idol" have landed a deal with NBC for a new variety talent competition series to launch in the summer, the network said yesterday (Feb. 2).
The untitled project is from "Idol" judge and executive producer Simon Cowell and "Idol" production company FremantleMedia. The series will comb the country for the best amateur singers, dancers, comedians and "bizarre novelty acts," with the winner getting to headline their own act in Las Vegas.
"This is a show I've always wanted to make," Cowell said. "This time we're looking for everything. Personally, I hope to find the next Siegfried and Roy. I promise this is going to be a fun ride."
In the true spirit of "Idol," the series also will pick a panel of celebrity judges who will make time to assess "wannabes who have no business even pretending to have talent."
"Simon has his finger on the pulse of pop culture," NBC Entertainment president Kevin Reilly said. "This show will be a shot of adrenaline to the variety format with Simon's gift of discovering untapped talent, both great and uniquely not so great."
Cowell and FremantleMedia already sold the series format to ITV in the U.K. under the title "Got Talent."
The NBC project is the just latest producing extracurricular venture for Cowell beyond "Idol." He has another reality show premiering in March on ABC, "American Inventor," and a second series on the way for Fox, "Duets."