NBC NAMES CARNIE WILSON, JOJO AND JOHNNY WRIGHT AS CELEBRITY JUDGES FOR NEW 'FAME' SERIES FEATURING DEBBIE ALLEN
Published: May 27, 2003
Talent-search Competition Series Kicks Off with a Special Two-hour Premiere on May 28
BURBANK, Calif. -- May 27, 2003 -- Carnie Wilson, JoJo and Johnny Wright have been named as celebrity judges for “Fame,” NBC’s ultimate talent-search competition series hosted by *NSYNC’s Joey Fatone that features Emmy Award-winner Debbie Allen’s attempts to find multi-talented performers from across the country. As previously announced, the series will premiere on Wednesday, May 28 (8-10 p.m. ET) and will continue on Wednesdays (8-9 p.m. ET) through much of the summer.
“Fame” follows Allen’s attempts to recruit multi-talented performers (ages 16 and up) from across the country -- followed by an intense “boot camp” drill. As the group members hone their skills and routines in front of celebrity judges, family and friends, the field will be narrowed as viewers at home will determine who ultimately travels the path all the way to “Fame.”
For four weeks, groups of six contestants will perform for these three celebrity judges who will determine which members of each group will continue. When the final contestants have been chosen, America becomes the judge to select who will be on the “fastlane to Fame” with a combination of commitments from high-profile entertainment executives. The winner will receive recording and management contracts, agent representation and a year at the Debbie Allen Dance Academy, among other opportunities and prizes.
In 1986, Wilson, her sister Wendy Wilson, and longtime friend Chynna Phillips formed the vocal pop group Wilson Phillips. Wilson Phillips' 1990 self-titled debut album went on to sell over 10 million copies worldwide. The trio returned less than a year later with Shadows and Light, which went platinum. At 31, after topping the charts and hosting her own TV talk show, Carnie Wilson weighed 300 pounds and her health was in serious jeopardy. She turned to weight-loss surgery as a last resort, and during the next two years, she lost 155 pounds, found love -- and became an inspiration to millions who battle obesity.
JoJo, one of Los Angeles radio's most recognizable personalities, was recently on two MTV specials -- "Launch with Justin Timberlake" and "Becoming: Nelly" - and also appeared on the TV special “Disco Ball.” JoJo was also co-host of “The Mix” on the WB Network. He had a guest-starring role on the NBC Saturday-morning sitcom “City Guys” and the musical-comedy series “S Club 7.” He also filmed cameos for the film “Long Shot” as well as several music videos.
In addition, JoJo was a presenter at the 2001 Teen Choice Awards on Fox, a backstage reporter at the 2000 and 2001 “Radio Music Awards” and a presenter at the 1999 Hollywood Reporter's “Young Star Awards.” JoJo hosted the 2000 and 2001 editions Teen Magazine “Maybelline Great Model Search.” JoJo has been seen in recent issues of Teen Beat, All-Stars Teen Beat, Bop, PopStar!, Blast, Teen Magazine and EntertainTeen. He even has had his own column in Teen Magazine.
Wright began his career in the music management business under the guidance of Maurice Starr with the New Kids on the Block. He then relocated to Orlando, Florida, where he formed an alliance with talent manager Lou Pearlman in 1993, and in 1995, Wright began managing the Backstreet Boys. He successfully positioned the Backstreet Boys who hit the top of the recording charts and launched an international phenomenon that still resonates to this day.
In 1996, Wright had the opportunity to sign a young group called *NSYNC. Under Wright’s direction, the boy group quickly became the number-one pop sensation in the world. Wright then formed the Wright Entertainment Group (WEG), which claims the number-one female performer in the world -- Britney Spears -- as one of its artists. He has recently begun the mission of taking on such previously recognized acts as R&B sensation Sean “Puffy” Combs and Boys II Men. In all, WEG currently manages and guides 10 musical acts, including: *NSYNC (JIVE), Christina Milian (Island/Def Jam), Sean “P. Diddy” Combs (Bad Boy), Triple Image (WIRE), Daniel Lopes (BMG), Justin Timberlake (JIVE), Nick Cannon (JIVE), Megan McCulay, Dream (Bad Boy), and Boyz II Men (Arista).
From these successes, Wright launched Wright International Records and Entertainment (WIRE) in 2002. WIRE currently is taking the “tween” market by storm with three new artists: Triple Image, Stevie Brock and Jer-z. Wright recently formed Johnny Wright Productions and brings the same talents, enthusiasm and energy that have made him a success in the music industry to film and television production.
“Fame” is produced by MGM Television Entertainment and Stone Stanley Entertainment with David G. Stanley, Scott A. Stone and multiple Emmy Award-winner Jeff Margolis serving as executive producers.