[05/18/06 - 12:00 AM]
Brandy, David Hasselhoff and Piers Morgan Named as Judges of NBC's "America's Got Talent" from Simon Cowell and Fremantlemedia

[via press release from NBC]


Regis Philbin Hosts New Talent Competition Series Premiering With Two-hour Episode on Wednesday, June 21

BURBANK, Calif. -- May 18, 2006 -- Grammy award-winner and television star Brandy, (�Moesha�) actor, singer and executive producer David Hasselhoff (�Baywatch�), and U.K. television/media personality Piers Morgan have been named as judges for NBC�s upcoming talent competition series �America�s Got Talent� from Simon Cowell (�American Idol�) and FremantleMedia (�American Idol�).

Hosted by television legend Regis Philbin (�Live with Regis and Kelly�), the series will have its two-hour broadcast premiere on Wednesday, June 21 (8-10 p.m. ET). The regular telecast time of �America�s Got Talent� will be Wednesdays, 9-10 p.m. ET; (30-minute results shows will air on Thursdays beginning July 13, 8:30-9 p.m. ET).

�We have three different judges from three different backgrounds,� said Cowell. �Expect the unexpected.�

�I�m looking forward to seeing all the elements and talents of this show come together on one stage. It should make for great television,� added executive producer Ken Warwick.

�Being a fan of reality television, I'm happy to be a part of a show that embraces all of America's diverse talent,� said Brandy. �When I got the call from Simon to be part of "America's Got Talent," I was thrilled because I have always wanted the opportunity to help newcomers with their career the way so many people have helped me.�

"I have a long standing relationship with FremantleMedia Media and Simon Cowell, who is always great fun to work with," said Hasselhoff. It should be a blast, especially now with Regis on board. I'm looking forward to discovering what wild new talent is out there."

"I've chased, interviewed, broken, admired and laughed at celebrities for the last 20 years and the one thing I can safely say from all my experience is that America has produced more great entertainment talent than any other country in the world,� said Morgan. �My sincere hope is that we uncover a genuinely talented new superstar in this show, as well as a few acts that make us all laugh out loud."

Cowell and FremantleMedia will bring the hottest performers from across the country to TV audiences in this new variety series that allows viewers to determine who will walk away with a $1 million cash prize. Hosted by television legend Philbin, "America's Got Talent" features a colorful array of hopeful future stars -- singers, dancers, comedic performers and unique acts of all ages will have a chance to strut and perform in front of Hasselhoff, Brandy and Morgan, who will determine which acts advance to the final rounds where America will vote for the ultimate performer.

At 26, few have reached the luminary stature of Brandy. She is a Grammy Award-winning singer, a major film and television actress, a model, a spokesperson, producer and a Mom. Having sold over 25 million copies of her 4 solo CD's, she has won over 100 awards as a recording artist. Her long-running television show, �Moesha� helped launch the UPN Network where it ran for 6 successful seasons. Additionally, she was the star of �Cinderella� and �Double Platinum,� two of televisions highest rated special programs.

Internationally recognized for both his work in television and music, Hasselhoff shot to fame with his starring role in �Knight Rider,� which garnered him a People�s Choice Award as Most Popular Actor. In 1989, Hasselhoff was cast in the internationally popular series �Baywatch,� of which he eventually became the executive producer. Additionally, he is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as "The Most Watched TV Star in the World� due to his starring roles on both series. Hasselhoff�s musical career took off in the late 1980s after he recorded the album �Looking for Freedom� at the end of the Cold War. The song became an anthem for the newly united German people and remained at the top of their charts for eight weeks. The album went triple platinum in Europe and Hasselhoff was named �Most Popular and Best Selling Artist of the Year� in Germany. Additionally, he has released six other albums in Europe, which have all gone platinum and gold. He made his theatrical debut in the Broadway musical �Jekyll and Hyde,� and went on to make his West End debut in the hit musical �Chicago.� Hasselfhoff has also appeared in several feature films including, �Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story,� and the family favorite, �The Spongebob SquarePants Movie.� He will also star in Adam Sandler�s �Click,� a new feature film to be released next month.

A former editor of the London Daily Mirror, Morgan was arguably the best-known national newspaper editor since his good friend Kelvin MacKenzie edited the Sun in the 1980s. He became editor of the News of the World at the age of 28 - the youngest national newspaper editor for more than 50 years. Two years later, he was recruited to edit the Daily Mirror. During this time, he was responsible for breaking several high-profile stories and also became close friends with Princess Diana. Earlier this month, he launched �First News,� the first weekly newspaper for children that endeavors to educate them on social and political issues in a language they can understand. On television, Morgan served as host for two episodes of �Tabloid Tales� for BBC1 during the show�s 2002/2003 season. Additionally, he hosted a three part series �The Importance of Being Famous,� as well as the one-hour documentary �The Death of Celebrity,� for Channel 4. His latest project �You Can�t Fire Me, I�m Famous� starts airing in the U.K. on June 5. Morgan also created �The Pride of Britain Awards,� in which high profile celebrities and royals honor ordinary citizens for doing extraordinary and/or heroic things.

"America's Got Talent" is produced by Cowell's SYCO TV production company and FremantleMedia. Cowell, Warwick and Cecile Frot-Coutaz ("American Idol") are the executive producers. Jason Raff (�Three Wishes�) and Charles Boyd �American Idol�) are the co-executive producers.

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 is known for producing such genre-bending shows as the musical/reality phenomenon "American Idol" (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,� the comedy game show "Distraction" (Comedy Central) and the hit lifestyle show "How Clean Is Your House?" (Lifetime). FMNA is currently producing "American Inventor" for ABC and "Game Show Marathon" for CBS and "America�s Got Talent" for NBC.

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.

  [may 2006]  


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