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Host, Format Announced for Return of ‘Star Search’ in Januaryby David Bloomberg -- 12/26/2002
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We’ve known for a couple months now that CBS was going to use the success of Fox’s American Idol to re-launch Star Search (see here for a short blurb). Now some more details have come out.
First, the host of the new Star Search will be Arsenio Hall. The reactions I’ve heard to this news to date fall into the “Ugh” category. I think most people would prefer Ryan Seacrest and Brian Dunkleman! Indeed, a number of people have wondered why he isn’t going to be on WB’s The Surreal Life, a show about has-beens, instead. Then again, the host for the original Star Search was Ed McMahon, so perhaps they are just trying to follow in the same vein – whatever vein that might be…
The show will air live on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8:00 PM (Eastern), starting January 8 – yes, that’s the Survivor timeslot, which is an indication that they have high hopes for this show. Hmmm, airing live two days a week. Wonder where they got that idea…
One area where the show will differ from American Idol is that it will feature four different areas of competition – adult singer, junior singer, comic, and model. Plus it will not be as drawn-out as AI. CBS has ordered nine episodes – the first three will be initial rounds of competition followed by winners from the first three episodes battling it out in a semifinal on the fourth (which would be Thursday, January 16). Then the next four episodes will feature the same thing, with three early rounds and another semi-final. The final would them appear on Thursday, February 6. The winner in each category gets $100,000 – not bad!
Unlike AI, judging will not be done solely by viewers – though unlike the original Star Search, it will not be done solely by judges. Instead there will be a combination of voting by celebrity judges and viewers – via the Internet – to arrive at a winner. No word yet on who the celebrity judges will be.
It will be interesting to see how Star Search compares to American Idol in popularity, especially since the later shows will be competing directly with the second AI. Unlike AI, Star Search will not give viewers as much time to get to know, and become fans of, those who are competing. They will only compete once before the semi-final, which means by the time the final rolls around, we will only have seen them on the show two previous times. Plus, because there are four different categories, that will further water down the screen time for each competitor. One reason AI was so successful was that the fanbase built up as the weeks went by. We could see somebody like Kelly Clarkson get better and better as the weeks went by. People could really get into the show and debate which singer was better and why. I don’t see that happening with Star Search, though I’ve certainly been wrong with some predictions in the past. Hopefully there will be a pleasant surprise. The show does have an advantage in that it is starting earlier in January, when there will be fewer competitors. If they can hook an audience early, that will help propel the show down the home stretch.
As always, keep your eyes peeled for new information and articles about the show right here at RealityNewsOnline.
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David Bloomberg is the Editor of RealityNewsOnline, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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