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Thread: WB to air "Superstar USA" (an anti-AI)

  1. #1
    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    WB to air "Superstar USA" (an anti-AI)

    WB's thrush rush 04/14/2004
    Tue Apr 13, 8:00 PM ET

    Josef Adalian, Variety

    After weeks of secrecy and subterfuge, Mike Fleiss and the WB are about to unveil the ultimate spoof of "American Idol."

    Dubbed "Superstar USA," skein will take the musical talent competish format and give it a wicked twist by tossing the truly talented participants -- and rewarding the misguided souls who are clueless about being tuneless.

    "These people believe they're the next pop superstar, even though they're horrible singers," Fleiss said of the show, which he's exec producing via his Telepictures-based Next Entertainment. "It's not funny seeing bad singers doing karaoke. This is about people who are clearly delusional and watching them butcher song after song."

    Fleiss calls the skein a "bizzaro version of 'American Idol' " in which the Clays and Kellys get the boot, while the William Hungs of the world triumph.

    First two episodes will feature footage from open auditions held in Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Miami and Minneapolis. During the course of the show, 12 wannabe superstars will get complete fashion makeovers and be treated to a glimpse of the celeb life -- complete with fake fans.

    Skein's judges -- or "panelists," as reps for the show insist on calling them -- are forced to keep a straight face as they heap mounds of praise on crappy crooners and tell truly talented singers they're going home.

    Participants aren't told the true premise of the skein -- i.e., it's not a competition, it's a hoax -- until the final episode of the show, in which two finalists compete for the bogus title of Superstar USA.

    After the winner is crowned, all the participants are told the truth -- and to ease the embarrassment, the "winner" (or "last person standing," as producers phrase it) gets $100,000 and a recording contract.

    "I swear, the finale is the most incredible 20 minutes of television I've ever seen," Fleiss said, calling "Superstar" a buzz-building reality event in the tradition of his infamous "Who Wants to Marry A Multi-Millionaire."

    "People will be calling their friends saying, 'You won't believe what they're doing,' " Fleiss said.

    For TV industry insiders, "Superstar" will also be seen as a not-so-subtle bit of revenge from Fleiss against his longtime friend and rival, Fox reality topper Mike Darnell. Latter exec has spent the last two years launching a slew of skeins inspired by Fleiss' signature series "The Bachelor."

    "Mostly, this is about a great idea and a great show," Fleiss said. "But if there's a little bit of payback, that's just icing on the cake."

    "Superstar" wrapped a lightning-quick four-week shoot Tuesday night and will premiere almost as quickly: Monday, May 17 at 9 p.m. Scheduling of the seven hourlong episodes is still being finalized, but Frog plans to air the CAA-packaged show twice a week -- Mondays and Tuesdays at 9 -- with the finale airing in early June.

    Mike Nichols and Jason Carbone are co-exec producers.

    In keeping with the "Idol" mojo, "Superstar's" three-member panel of judges features an African-American music vet (rapper Tone- Loc), a 1990s popstar (Vitamin C) and a really snarky guy (Chris Briggs, who's actually a producer). Former MTV veejay Brian McFayden hosts.

    "We don't have a British guy, and our host is named Brian," Fleiss quips, alluding to Simon Cowell and Ryan Seacrest.

    WB co-chairman Jordan Levin believes "Superstar" is the kind of high-octane reality skein that can help the Frog finally break through in a big way in the unscripted world.

    "We can make some noise with this and have some fun with the form," he said. "We have a young audience that's very literate and very savvy when it comes to this genre. The idea of deconstructing and twisting it was appealing to us."

    Fleiss said he came up with the idea for "Superstar" last year and pitched the project to the WB barely two months ago.

    "The timing of this is certainly right," Levin said. "As the nation contemplates who's the next American Idol, we're really questioning issues of celebrity and talent. And we're having fun."

    Critics will likely raise the issue of whether it's cruel to essentially spend seven hours mocking ungifted singers, but Fleiss actually found making the show inspirational in a way.

    "These are people who believe in themselves unconditionally, who wouldn't let anything stop them from pursuing their dream -- even the lack of a singing voice," he said. "It's a little bit mean at times, but people thought 'The Bachelor' was mean."

    "They do get the fame and fortune," Fleiss added. "It's just not how they thought."

    Runner-ups will also be compensated, and Fleiss hopes to release a "Superstar" album and take the final 12 on tour.

  2. #2
    Soccer Kicks Balls cali's Avatar
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    ya know what? I think that's mean as crap.

    100,000 grand wouldn't be enough, and why, WHY, do they get a recording contract? What's up with that?

    Really, don't some people who KNOW they can't sing go to these things just to see if they can get on TV anyway? Wouldn't they figure it out?

    Who the hell wants to sit around and listen to crappy singers week after week?

    Uhg, I don't like this at all.
    "Rice is great when you're hungry and want 2,000 of something' -- Mitch Hedberg

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    Mikey's biggest fan Wenders's Avatar
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    This one is gonna be interesting....

    I hear William Hung's songs on the radio almost every morning though...love his "Hotel California"
    ugh. I don't get time to watch TV anymore, much less hang out at the FORT.

    But don't you worry, I'll be back in full force on or about November 3rd.

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    Anarchist AJane's Avatar
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    As someone who was a dedicated viewer of Paradise Hotel, Who Wants to Marry My Dad?, and is lamenting the apparent demise of Forever Eden...this show sounds horrible, even to me
    All my life, I have felt destiny tugging at my sleeve.~ Thursday Next
    I don't want to "go with the flow". The flow just washes you down the drain. I want to fight the flow.- Henry Rollins
    All this spiritual talk is great and everything...but at the end of the day, there's nothing like a pair of skinny jeans. - Jillian Michaels

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    FORT Fogey AIWANNABE's Avatar
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    I think it is too funny, yet quite mean

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    J/J for the win! DJeterFan's Avatar
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    Oh my gosh, that is awful....but sounds great. I'll watch it!

  7. #7
    FORT Fogey AIWANNABE's Avatar
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    Whats in bold is some new infomation

    April 16, 2004 -- 'BACHELOR" creator Mike Fleiss is teaming with The WB for a bizarro version of "American Idol."
    In "The WB's Superstar USA," premiering May 17, truly awful singers who think they're talented will compete on a rigged "AI"-type show.

    "These people are confused about their lack of talent, and that's what makes this show so wrong - and so good," Fleiss told The Post.

    "We had to find bad singers who believed they were great . . . This is different than watching a bad singer who knows they're bad."

    Fleiss pooh- poohed any similarities to William Hung, whose awful rendition of "She Bangs" during an "AI" audition transformed him into a weird folk hero of sorts - winning him a modicum of fame and a record deal.

    "I had this idea a year ago when I was shooting 'The Bachelor 3,' and 'American Idol' was taking off," Fleiss said. "I used to do a lot of clip shows, and I've seen bad performers sing and do comedy - I always thought 'The World's Worst Performers' would be a really good show.

    "Connecting William Hung to this new show isn't really the same thing," he said. "Hung ain't no fool - he knows he's a lousy singer.



    "You're going to see people who think they're good - and really stink."

    The 12 singers, culled from nationwide auditions, were taken to Hollywood and given a makeover and voice, dance and singing lessons.

    The joke is that, unknown to them, they were praised and encouraged by a team of "music experts" - Tone Loc, Vitamin C and TV producer Chris Briggs - who booted off the really talented singers and kept the croakers.
    The finale will culminate with the worst singer being clued into the joke - but also rewarded $100,000 and a record deal.

    Fleiss said the reaction of the winner is, well, unexpected.

    "It changes on a second-by-second basis - first it's bewilderment, then disappointment, then anger, then acceptance, then inspiration," Fleiss said.

    "It's a surprising ending. I guarantee we're going to be selling some records here.


    "There's a history of unintentionally bad singing - look at William Shatner and 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,' " he said. "We think this is going to extend that tradition a little further."

    The seven-episode series is hosted by MTV's Brian McFayden.

    http://nypost.com/entertainment/18890.htm


    I'm a Little Teapot" may be one of the big hits on the rigged "Superstar USA."

  8. #8
    American Idol Fanatic IdolFreak05's Avatar
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    This is sad! Think of making it to the final two thinking you are a good singer and possibly could be America's next big thing just to find out it's fake. Even if the "winner" get a contract I think the show is a bad idea.

  9. #9
    RESIDENT JEDI MASTER Stargazer's Avatar
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    Oh man. This is horrible. Like averagejane, I've watched a lot of bad shows and laughed my butt off. This is really awful, though.
    "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter."- Yoda

    "I'll just see where Providence takes me and try to look like I got there confidently." - Craig Ferguson

  10. #10
    RESIDENT JEDI MASTER Stargazer's Avatar
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    Well, it looks like I'll be watching it after all. My husband thinks its the funniest thing he's ever heard of. :rolleyes
    "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter."- Yoda

    "I'll just see where Providence takes me and try to look like I got there confidently." - Craig Ferguson

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