[07/21/06 - 12:00 AM]
NBC Orders Additional Seasons of Hot Alternative Programs 'America's Got Talent' and 'Last Comic Standing'

[via press release from NBC]


"America's Got Talent" to Return at Mid-season While "Last Comic Standing" Will Return Next Summer

BURBANK, Calif. -- July 21, 2006 -- NBC has picked up an additional season each of its popular summer alternative series "America's Got Talent" and "Last Comic Standing." "America's Got Talent" (Wednesdays, 8-10 p.m. ET and Thursdays, 9-10 p.m. ET) will return to the NBC schedule at mid-season while "Last Comic Standing" (Tuesdays, 9-10 p.m. ET) will resume next summer with all-new episodes. The announcement was made today by Kevin Reilly, President, NBC Entertainment.

"Both of these series have been bright spots on the summer television landscape," said Reilly. "We think they'll be around for a long time."

As of July 19, "America's Got Talent," the new break-out series of the summer, is averaging a 3.8 rating, 12 share in adults 18-49 and 11.3 million viewers overall this summer, making it the #1 original summer series in total viewers. "America's Got Talent" has improved the Wednesday 9-10 p.m. (ET) slot over NBC's 18-49 average for the same nights last summer by 74 percent.

"Last Comic Standing" has ranked among the week's top-10 programs with each of its original telecasts this summer. Averaging a 3.7 rating, 10 share in adults 18-49 and 8.2 million viewers overall, "Last Comic Standing" has increased the Tuesday 9-10 p.m. (ET) hour by 95 percent versus NBC's average in the time period last summer.

Hosted by Anthony Clark ("Yes, Dear"), "Last Comic Standing" is the Emmy Award-nominated series that takes viewers on a nationwide talent search for the funniest comedians in America. Outrageous contests, surprise guests and unexpected twists and turns make for a lively competition with America ultimately choosing the winner who gets an exclusive talent contract with NBC and their own comedy special on Bravo.

"Last Comic Standing" is produced by Peter Engel Productions, Magical Elves and NBC Universal Television Studio. The executive producers are Peter Engel ("Saved by the Bell," "City Guys"), Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz (Bravo's "Project Runway" and NBC's "Treasure Hunters") and Barry Katz ("Action," "Dane Cook's Tourgasm").

"America's Got Talent" is from Simon Cowell and FremantleMedia, the producers of "American Idol," and is hosted by television legend Regis Philbin ("Live with Regis & Kelly"). The talent competition series brings the variety format back to the forefront of American culture showcasing the hottest performers from across the country, all vying for a $1 million grand prize, with the winner being chosen by the television viewing audience.

Each week, the show features a colorful array of hopeful future stars -- singers, dancers, comedic performers and unique acts of all ages who have a chance to strut and perform in front of a panel of celebrity judges, including actor, singer and executive producer David Hasselhoff ("Baywatch"), Grammy Award-winning singer and actress Brandy ("Moesha"), and United Kingdom television-media personality Piers Morgan.

"America's Got Talent" is produced by Cowell's SYCO TV production company and FremantleMedia. Cowell, Ken Warwick ("American Idol") 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.

  [july 2006]  


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