[09/29/06 - 12:00 AM]
Recording Artists Evan and Jaron to Host USA Network's Character Road Trip and On-Air Personality and Style Maven Jeannie Mai to Host USA Network's Character Fantasy

[via press release from USA]



Emmy-Nominated Magical Elves to Produce

LOS ANGELES, CA � September 28, 2006 � Recording Artists Evan and Jaron are set to host USA Network's CHARACTER ROAD TRIP, and on-air personality & style maven Jeannie Mai has been tapped to host CHARACTER FANTASY, both television offshoots of the successful Show Us Your Character web destination. USA plans to debut the two short-form programs as part of the channel's ongoing efforts to expand its Characters Welcome brand to all facets of the business and marks a joint effort between programming and marketing, featuring innovative short-form programming from Magical Elves, Inc. CHARACTER ROAD TRIP premieres on Tuesday, October 3 at 9/8pm Central and CHARACTER FANTASY premieres on Saturday, October 14 at 11/10am Central. The announcement was made today by Chris McCumber, senior vice president, marketing and brand strategy, USA Network and Libby Hansen, vice president, alternative series & specials, NBC and USA Network.

"With both Character Road Trip and Character Fantasy, USA is elevating a successful campaign to an exciting new level of brand integration," said McCumber. "On the creative and advertising fronts, we're thrilled to be extending our 'Character'-driven passion to the short form and reality arenas."

"We were looking for talent with tremendous energy, a sense of adventure and amazing style for these new 'Characters,'" said Hansen. "We found the perfect personalities who we feel the audience will respond to and love."

Produced by multiple Emmy nominees Jane Lipsitz and Dan Cutforth, the creative team behind production company Magical Elves (NBC's "Last Comic Standing," "Bravo's "Project Runway"), the addition of original short-form programming serves as a complement to the Characters Welcome brand. CHARACTER ROAD TRIP will be featured as a series of short-form interstitials throughout a primetime show. At its heart, the segments are a celebration of what makes our country great. Each week the hosts will travel to a different American town in search of the greatest "characters" the country has to offer. Viewers will be given a peek into who they are and what makes them unique. Whether someone can juggle chainsaws, has the world's largest banana collection, writes symphonies for tugboats or is a Thai Elvis impersonator, they will be provided with a platform to strut their stuff and demonstrate how they do it.

Born and raised in Atlanta, GA, musical brothers Evan and Jaron initially pursued a career as professional baseball players. Although completely committed to an athletic career, Evan always kept their dad's old guitar propped in the corner of his room because he thought it looked cool. Shortly thereafter, they formed a pop/rock duo, which they brilliantly titled "Evan and Jaron." After being discovered by Jimmy Buffett, they scored three Top 40 hits, including the Top 10 song "Crazy For This Girl". They have toured with an array of artists, including Sting, Heart, The Dixie Chicks and Maroon5. After over ten years in the music business, the brothers took a much-needed break to pursue other endeavors, including screenwriting, producing, acting, inventing and Evan even started a family. The brothers are finally heading back into the studio this fall to record their first record in over four years. They currently split time between Los Angeles and Nashville.

Have you ever wanted to be a celebrity? Did you ever want to be the life of the party? Now's your chance to become the character you've always dreamed of with USA Network's new wish-fulfillment show CHARACTER FANTASY. Paired with USA's Saturday afternoon programming, host Jeannie Mai will seek out real people with character fantasies. Perhaps you'd like to be transformed into an actor from your favorite movie, or maybe you've always wondered what it would be like to shed your girl-next-door image and experience being a stylish sophisticate. Whatever the wish, the fantasies will be about unleashing people's inner characters. Through this, people will get the chance to become whatever they want to be and learn to have more fun with their lives.

Jeannie Mai's career spans a multitude of talent from behind the scenes of styling and make-up to on-camera as a host of fashion, music, pop culture and lifestyle. She worked as a make-up artist dressing the faces of celebrities such as Alicia Keys, Lil Kim and Kelly Osbourne before establishing her own company of personal stylists of hair, make-up and wardrobe called The Doll Service. Shortly thereafter she earned a position as the host of the Asian American magazine-style show "STIR." She then went on to become the first female Asian VJ to host her own music countdown for the San Francisco local music channel CMC. She appeared on-camera as the entertainment reporter and producer on the WB's "Daily Mixx" and co-host to Frankie Muniz in the MTV pilot "Granted." Jeannie is also currently a spokesperson for NAO Cosmetics.

Since its formation in the summer of 2001, Magical Elves has developed and produced numerous acclaimed shows for NBC, ABC, Bravo and HBO. After a successful collaboration on the Emmy-nominated reality show "Bands on the Run," Lipsitz and Cutforth formed Magical Elves to exploit their diverse backgrounds and varied experience. This partnership has gone on to create some of the most talked about shows on television, including the Emmy-nominated "Project Runway" and "Project Greenlight" for Bravo, as well as "Last Comic Standing" for NBC. More recently, in addition to new seasons of those shows, Magical Elves has produced the ratings success "Top Chef" for Bravo and the upcoming "Treasure Hunters" for NBC. One of the largest reality shows NBC has ever commissioned, "Treasure Hunters" is a partnership between Magical Elves, Madison Road and Imagine Television. Magical Elves has constantly been on the cutting edge of entertainment, embracing new technologies and pushing the boundaries of reality television.

Seen in 90 million homes, USA Network is cable television's leading network of original series and feature movies, sports and entertainment events, network shows and blockbuster theatrical films. The USA Network Web site is located at www.usanetwork.com. Characters Welcome.

USA Network is a program service of NBC Universal Cable a division of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience.

  [september 2006]  


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