USA NETWORK'S "NASHVILLE STAR" OFFICIALLY KICKS OFF A NATIONWIDE SEARCH FOR THE NEXT COUNTRY MUSIC SENSATION
Grand Prize Winner to Earn Recording Contract
with Sony Music Nashville
New York, October 18, 2002 - USA Network will begin their nationwide search for the next great country music artist, with the first open auditions for Nashville Star - an upcoming USA Network prime-time event and reality series - kicking off in Nashville on Tuesday, October 22nd at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum at 1:00 pm. The grand prize winner of Nashville Star will earn a recording contract from Sony Music Nashville.
Nashville Star will speak directly to the legions of fans of the largest music genre in the United States, as well as those fascinated by the culture and character of country music. Nashville Star will scour the country for hopefuls who are ready to pack their bags and see if their talent for both performing and songwriting are up to the ultimate test. The artists' personal lives and stories of their inspiration behind the music will be uncovered throughout the series.
"Our show is open to talented country music performers from all ages and all walks of life," said Chris Sloan, USA Network's senior vice president, alternative programming. "We're not looking for the next one hit wonder, but the next superstar for the long haul. Our Nashville Star is not a pre-manufactured star created by the industry, but a true artist discovered by the fans."
After the initial auditions take place in Nashville on Tuesday, October 22nd, the search will roll out nationwide on Friday, November 1st. Over 30 local radio stations across the country will host auditions over the course of four weeks. Then, local winners from each station will compete in regional competitions happening in five cities around the U.S. in January. Next, the pool will be narrowed down to ten finalists who will be brought to Nashville to meet each other, live together and perform in front of a live televised audience to win a Sony Music Nashville recording contract. For two months, the finalists will compete against each other in a series of live performance based competitions, with eliminations in each round, until a winner is crowned.
"We are delighted to be working with USA Network and Reveille on this exciting new project," commented Allen Butler, President and CEO of Sony Music Nashville. "I am confident that Nashville Star will serve to further expand interest in the country genre, while at the same time providing an important opportunity to undiscovered artists."
Nashville Star is being produced by Reveille, a division of Vivendi Universal Entertainment run by Ben Silverman. George Verschoor (The Real World, Murder in Small Town X) and his production company, Hoosick Falls Productions, is executive producing in association with Reveille. The limited run event series is scheduled to premiere in March 2003 on USA Network.
"We are excited by the opportunity to tell the stories of real people and their dreams through the vehicle of country music," stated Ben Silverman, Chairman of Reveille. "Nashville Star will celebrate country music and the personalities that make this a truly American art form."
Reveille, a television, film production and distribution company within Universal Television Group, develops and produces new programming formats and concepts by leveraging its unique relationships with the top intellectual property creators in the world. The studio distributes formats and non-traditional programming globally, through an international network of producers and broadcasters. Reveille also generates and identifies integrated marketing opportunities for leading advertisers, creating value and direct audience connections while developing alternative financing for television programs and film.
USA Network is cable television's leading provider of original series and feature movies, sports events, off-net television shows and blockbuster theatrical films. USA Network is available in 82% of all U.S. homes, and is seen in 86 million U.S. homes. The USA Network Web site is located at www.usanetwork.com.
USA Network is a program service of Universal Television Group (www.universalstudios.com
), a division of Vivendi UNIVERSAL Entertainment (VUE), the U.S.-based film, television and recreation entity of Vivendi Universal, a global media and communications company.