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[02/02/06 - 12:00 AM]
NBC Partners with TV Hit-Makers Simon Cowell and Fremantlemedia on New Variety Talent Competition Series Seeking the Hottest Amateur Performers from Across the Country to Headline in Las Vegas

[via press release from NBC]

NBC PARTNERS WITH TV HIT-MAKERS SIMON COWELL AND FREMANTLEMEDIA ON NEW VARIETY TALENT COMPETITION SERIES SEEKING THE HOTTEST AMATEUR PERFORMERS FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY TO HEADLINE IN LAS VEGAS

NBC PARTNERS WITH TV HIT-MAKERS SIMON COWELL AND FREMANTLEMEDIA ON NEW VARIETY TALENT COMPETITION SERIES SEEKING THE HOTTEST AMATEUR PERFORMERS FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY TO HEADLINE IN LAS VEGAS

BURBANK � February 2, 2006 - NBC has created its first partnership with international TV hit-makers Simon Cowell ("American Idol") and FremantleMedia ("American Idol") to bring the hottest amateur performers from across the country to TV audiences in a new variety talent competition series that allows viewers to determine who will headline a showcase Las Vegas act. The deal was announced today by Kevin Reilly, President, NBC Entertainment.

"Simon has his finger on the pulse of pop culture," said Reilly. "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."

"This is a show I've always wanted to make," said Cowell. "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."

Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO FremantleMedia North America said, "We are thrilled to bring this new format to NBC. It will bring a whole new level of excitement to the talent show genre."

The series, which is targeted to premiere this summer, will feature a colorful array of hopeful future stars from across the country -- who possess widely varying levels of talent -- as they compete for the top prize of headlining in Las Vegas. Singers, dancers, comedic performers and bizarre novelty acts -- including some wannabes who have no business even pretending to have talent -- will have a chance to strut and perform in front of a panel of celebrity judges who will determine which acts advance to the final rounds.

Cowell and FremantleMedia recently sold the series to ITV in the United Kingdom under the title "Got Talent." Cowell will executive-produce the series through his SYCO TV production company in a co-production with FremantleMedia.

Best known in America as the brutally honest, sharp-tongued judge on the U.S.' #1 television show "American Idol," Cowell became a household name in the U.K. as a judge on "American Idol" predecessor and U.K. smash hit "Pop Idol." He also created and starred on the #1 U.K. television show "The X-Factor." A 20-year veteran in the music industry and a Sony BMG Records executive, Cowell has helped shape the modern pop music industry with his artists selling more than 150 million singles and albums. His success led to the birth of his own label, S Records, which launched the international opera group "Il Divo," whose most recent album, "Ancora," just debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 100 chart. Cowell also runs SYCO Television and will serve as creator and executive producer on upcoming shows "Duets" on Fox and "American Inventor" on ABC. He also penned his own book, "I Don't Mean to Be Rude, But..." which details his life and career, in addition to providing tips on becoming a pop star.

About FremantleMedia North America
FremantleMedia North America (FMNA) is on the leading edge of global broadcast production, developing some of television's most innovative and watched new programming. Based in Santa Monica and with offices in New York, FMNA has produced such genre-bending shows as the musical/reality phenomenon "American Idol" (Fox), which received five Emmy nominations in 2003, and the hotly debated reality series "The Swan" (Fox). In 2005, FremantleMedia programs garnered 16 Emmy nominations, including six for "American Idol." Other credits include "The Price Is Right" (CBS), the longest-running game show in television history, the daily syndicated game show "Family Feud" and the comedy gameshow "Distraction" (Comedy Central) and the hit lifestyle show "How Clean Is Your House?" (Lifetime). FremantleMedia North America is also currently producing "American Inventor" for ABC and "Game Show Marathon" for CBS.

FMNA is a division of FremantleMedia, one of the largest international creators and producers of program brands in the world, with production operations in more than 25 countries. FremantleMedia is the production arm of the RTL Group, Europe's largest television and radio broadcast company. With interests in 34 television channels and 30 radio stations in 11 countries, RTL Group is a division of leading integrated media and entertainment company Bertelsmann AG. For further information, visit www.fremantlemedia.com.





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· AMERICAN IDOL (FOX)
· AMERICAN INVENTOR (ABC)
· AMERICA'S GOT TALENT (NBC)
· CELEBRITY DUETS (FOX)
· DISTRACTION (COMEDY CENTRAL)
· FAMILY FEUD (SYNDICATION)
· GAMESHOW MARATHON (CBS)
· HOW CLEAN IS YOUR HOUSE? (LIFETIME)
· SWAN, THE (FOX)





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