[06/29/06 - 12:00 AM]
Msn Presents the Ultimate in Online Rock 'N' Roll: "Rock Star: Supernova" Premieres July 5 Only on Msn

[via press release from Microsoft]

MSN Presents the Ultimate in Online Rock 'n' Roll: "Rock Star: Supernova" Premieres July 5 Only on MSN

Exclusive online programming and special live events mark the return of the hit CBS series.

REDMOND, Wash., June 29 -- MSN today announced the premiere of online programming for "Rock Star: Supernova," the new season of the hit reality series returning to CBS in a special 90-minute broadcast on Wednesday, July 5 at 8 p.m. EDT/PDT. Before its broadcast premiere, "Rock Star: Supernova" -- produced by Mark Burnett Productions and seen last season by more than 6 million TV viewers each week -- will premiere only on MSN(R) the morning of July 3, available on demand at the official series Web site (http://rockstar.msn.com).

For the first time, weekly behind-the-scenes episodes containing all original footage will be streamed exclusively on the Web on MSN. Just as in season one, four types of content will be available each week: extensive and immersive behind-the-scenes unscripted drama (produced exclusively for MSN); one performance show and one results show (both produced exclusively for CBS); and extensive original wireless content. The MSN behind-the-scenes unscripted drama will allow viewers to learn what it takes for the contestants to choose their songs and prepare for their weekly performances, and to follow the characters as they develop and grow under enormous pressure. It will be available at http://rockstar.msn.com, enabling on-demand viewing via streaming. In addition, a sneak peek at the trailer, video interviews with Supernova, the rockers' bios and much more as part of the MSN-exclusive online content will be available on the site.

The second season of "Rock Star" features an all-star lineup of rock musicians who have joined forces to form a new supergroup called Supernova. Drummer Tommy Lee of Motley Crue, former Metallica guitarist Jason Newsted and former Guns N' Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke will be casting for a lead singer from a pool of 15 contestants selected in auditions across the U.S.

MSN content, which greatly increased the reach of the show last season by streaming more than 20 million videos and receiving millions of votes for contestants in the competition, will again offer visitors a close-up and personal experience of life in the rock 'n' roll fast lane. Programming will include original behind-the-scenes video footage, replays of contestant performances, music downloads, contestant profiles, photo galleries, stories about Supernova, and contestants' blogs on MSN Spaces. Online viewing of the TV show and online voting for contestants will be available only on MSN Video.

"'Rock Star' is a like a force of nature -- it's an enormously exciting project that has millions of fans, and it allows us to show how compelling interactive online entertainment content can be," said Rob Bennett, general manager of Entertainment and Video Services for MSN. "This season we're doing lots of fabulous programming around 'Rock Star' to enrich the TV viewers' experience and to provide visitors to MSN with the kind of off-the-charts entertainment experiences we've promised. Anyone who loves loud music and spends time online will want to catch all the rock 'n' roll action of 'Rock Star: Supernova.'"

"Rock Star" on the Road

Also new this year are MSN "Live Like a Rockstar" events, which will be kicked off at the legendary Roxy Theater in Los Angeles on July 13 with live performances by The Panic Channel, a new band featuring former members of Jane's Addiction, and an opening act. Exclusive scenes of the new season of "Rock Star" will be screened at the show, and radio station Star 98.7 will feature live remote broadcasts from the event to promote MSN entertainment content and build traffic to the "Rock Star" Web site. This major event will also be presented in Chicago, Boston and New York on dates to be announced. Tickets are available only via promotional offerings to "Rock Star" fans, who may also participate in a variety of contests on the MSN "Rock Star" site.

"MSN is really turning up the volume and creating a lot of excitement for the return of 'Rock Star,'" said Mark Burnett, creator and executive producer of "Rock Star: Supernova." "The show's popularity last season had a lot to do with the fantastic online experience MSN provided visitors to the site. This is what entertainment today is all about: synergy across multiple platforms. MSN is playing a huge role in bringing interactive entertainment and a wide range of rich content to broadband. We're thrilled to collaborating with MSN on this breakthrough series."

The Dream of Being a Star Rocker Comes True

Last season on "Rock Star," the rock sensation INXS auditioned for a new lead singer. Canadian heartthrob JD Fortune was selected to front the band, which has since recorded and released a new CD, "Switch," that debuted in the Billboard Top 20 and is currently going gold and platinum in countries around the world. INXS' hit single, "Pretty Vegas," has helped the band sell out every concert on its North American tour.

Dave Navarro and Brooke Burke return to host "Rock Star: Supernova." In one of several changes being made for the second season of the series, a music celebrity or rock legend will appear as a guest on the show each week. The winner of the competition will record an original CD with Supernova, to be co- written and produced by Butch Walker, Rolling Stone Magazine's 2005 "Hot Producer of the Year." The CD will be released in the fall and will be supported by a worldwide tour in early 2007.

"Rock Star: Supernova" will air on CBS Tuesdays at 9 p.m. EDT/PDT and Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EDT/PDT. Exclusive episodes on MSN will be available every Monday on demand at http://rockstar.msn.com.

About Mark Burnett Productions

Mark Burnett Productions (MBP) is a leading production company in the world of prime-time nonfiction television. MBP revolutionized television with hits such as "Eco-Challenge," "Survivor," "The Apprentice," "The Contender" and "Rock Star." MBP also successfully reintroduced product placement as an integral part of each of its shows and has garnered a total of 33 Emmy nominations since 2001. Mark Burnett was listed as the #1 Most Valuable Player by TV Guide and in Time Magazine's Top 100 most influential people in the world today.

About MSN Video

MSN Video is one of the largest video-only streaming services on the Web, watched by more than 11 million unique users per month. In addition to streaming news, entertainment and sports video clips from more than 45 content partners, MSN Video presents a broad array of live events to online audiences worldwide. More than 50 top advertisers support MSN Video, which is available to consumers at no charge. MSN Video is available on the Web at http://msnvideo.com to consumers in the U.S. MSN Video is also live in Australia, Canada and Japan, and in Spanish in the U.S.; the service also is in beta testing in the U.K.

About MSN and Windows Live

MSN attracts more than 465 million unique users worldwide per month. With localized versions available globally in 42 markets and 21 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering compelling programmed content experiences to consumers and online advertising opportunities to businesses worldwide. Windows Live(TM), a new set of personal Internet services and software, is designed to bring together in one place all the relationships, information and interests people care about most, with enhanced safety and security features across their PC, devices and the Web. MSN and Windows Live will be offered alongside each other as complementary services. Some Windows Live services entered an early beta phase on Nov. 1, 2005; these and future beta updates can be found at http://ideas.live.com. Windows Live is available at http://www.live.com. MSN is located on the Web at http://www.msn.com. MSN worldwide sites are located at http://www.msn.com/worldwide.ashx.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

NOTE: Microsoft, MSN and Windows Live are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.

  [june 2006]  


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