NBC LIGHTS UP SUMMER WITH A BURST OF ORIGINAL PROGRAM PREMIERES AS PART OF ‘NBC’S ALL-AMERICAN SUMMER’ BURBANK – March 5, 2008 – NBC to celebrate America, its communities, athletes, songs, heroes, talent and Gladiators all summer long as part of "NBC's All-American Summer" – the network's run-up to its exclusive coverage of the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing. The network will ignite a late spring and summer of original programming paced by the premieres of series favorites "American Gladiators" (Monday, May 12, 8-10 p.m. ET), "America's Got Talent" (Tuesday, June 24, 9-11 p.m. ET), "Last Comic Standing" (Thursday, May 22, 9:30-11 p.m. ET) and the network debut of "Nashville Star" with new host Billy Ray Cyrus (Monday, June 9, 9:30-11 p.m. ET). In addition, NBC will unveil the new suspense and horror anthology series "Fear Itself" on Thursday, May 29, 10-11 p.m. ET, as well as two new alternative series "Celebrity Circus" (Wednesday, June 11, 9-11 p.m. ET) and "The Baby Borrowers" (Wednesday, June 25, 8-9 p.m. ET). The announcements were made today by Ben Silverman, Co-Chairman, NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios. "NBC's All-American Summer" will kick off with the return of the high-octane hit "American Gladiators" which will follow its May 12 premiere by settling into its regular day and time on Monday, May 19 (8-9:30 p.m. ET). Likewise, "America's Got Talent" will follow its June 24 debut with another two-hour episode on Tuesday, July 1 (9-11 p.m. ET) and then subsequently follow with hour-long episodes beginning July 8 (9-10 p.m. ET). The series will take a brief hiatus during the Summer Olympics and return August 26 (performance episodes) and "results shows" will begin starting August 27 (8-9 p.m. ET). After its two-hour premiere, "Celebrity Circus" will resume in its regular day and time on Wednesday, June 18 (9-10 p.m. ET). Following its May 22 debut, "Last Comic Standing" will settle into its regular day and time on Thursday, May 29 (8:30-10 p.m. ET). "American Gladiators" is the #1 new series on the NBC schedule this season in adults 18-49 and total viewers, with its average of a 4.2 rating, 11 share in 18-49 and 9.9 million viewers overall. The series won its Monday time period in adults 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54 and all key adult-male categories. For the first quarter to date, "American Gladiators" is the #1 Monday series on any network in the coveted adults 18-34 demo. Hulk Hogan ("Hogan Knows Best") and Laila Ali ("Dancing with the Stars") host the hit iconic competition series, which first premiered in January with a fresh modern reinvention for the 21st century. Using splashy twists including special effects, water skills and the latest technology, the classic games have been upgraded with even higher thrills, impact, energy and spectacle. Celebrating the everyday, true American heroes -- weekend warriors who excel and take pride in their physical fitness -- contenders go up against the show's Gladiators, charismatic and eclectic warriors -- in the ultimate David & Goliath battle. The series includes such classic events as Joust, The Wall, Hang Tough, Powerball, Assault, Pyramid, Gauntlet and the Eliminator along with two brand-new events including Earthquake and Hit & Run. New events and new Gladiators will be unveiled this spring. "American Gladiators" is produced by MGM Television (the original producers of the show) and Reveille (NBC's "The Office" and "The Biggest Loser," "Nashville Star," "Ugly Betty"). Reveille's Mark Koops, Howard T. Owens and David A. Hurwitz ("Fear Factor") are the executive producers alongside Flor-Jon, Films Inc.'s Johnny Ferraro, original series creator. "America's Got Talent," NBC's hit summer series from "American Idol" producers FremantleMedia North America and Simon Cowell's SYCO Television, is currently crisscrossing America hitting Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York as part of a nationwide search for the hottest performers in the country to compete in the blockbuster reality show's third season. A colorful array of hopeful stars, including singers, dancers, comedians, contortionists, impressionists jugglers, magicians and ventriloquists of all ages strut and perform on stage in front of celebrity judges David Hasselhoff, Piers Morgan and Sharon Osbourne. New this season, thousands of people have been invited to attend the audition tapings at some of the largest theaters in the country, where they will judge the acts along with the show's judges, giving America a voice right from the beginning of the competition. Terry Fator, a ventriloquist from Dallas, Texas achieved the dream of a lifetime last August when he was crowned the second season champion. Not only did he win the $1,000,000 grand prize, but his dream to headline on the Las Vegas strip came true when he signed a 2008 contract with the Las Vegas Hilton in a deal worth more than $1.5 million. "America's Got Talent," hosted by Jerry Springer, was last year's #1 summer series in total viewers, averaging 11.4 million persons. The finale on August 21 garnered 4.2 rating/12 share in adults 18-49 and 13.9 million viewers overall – a new series record in total viewers, with a 16 percent increase over its finale the year before. "America's Got Talent" is produced by FremantleMedia North America and Simon Cowell's SYCO Televison. Cowell, Cecile Frot-Coutaz ("American Idol"), Jason Raff, James Sunderland and Georgie Hurford-Jones are executive producers. NBC's lively laugh fest "Last Comic Standing" returns for a sixth season with host Bill Bellamy ("Def Comedy Jam," "Any Given Sunday") and special correspondent/popular UK personality Fearne Cotton (NBC's "The Guinness Book of World Records – Live!," ITV2's "The Xtra Factor") stepping up the search for the funniest comedian on the planet! Comedians from across the U.S. and 14 countries around the globe – including England, Australia, Sweden, South Africa, India, Japan and Israel – try out in lively audition episodes. But for the first time ever on the Emmy-nominated show, a revolving door of celebrity talent scouts – all past and present NBC comedy stars from shows like "The Office," "Scrubs, "Mad About You" and "Cheers" – will help "find the funny" as "Last Comic Standing" joins Thursday's comedy night lineup. After the regional auditions comes fast-paced semi-final rounds, and then it's a comedy showdown week by week until the funniest is crowned "Last Comic Standing," winning a $250,000 grand prize including an exclusive talent deal with NBC and a brand new Honda. "Last Comic Standing" is produced by Peter Engel Productions and Universal Media Studios. The executive producers are Peter Engel ("Saved By the Bell," "The Next Best Thing"), David Friedman (NBC's "Last Call with Carson Daly) and Barry Katz ("Action," "Dane Cook's Tourgasm"). Javier Winnik (NBC's "The Singing Bee"), Page Hurwitz ("Last Comic Standing 5") and Noel Guerra (Bravo's "Project Runway") are co-executive producers. "Nashville Star" is the original grassroots talent search to find America's next great country music star. The series' sixth season will premiere on NBC with new host Billy Ray Cyrus ("Hannah Montana") with the winner receiving a major recording contract and the performance of a lifetime at the Summer Olympics in Beijing! The first four seasons of the series have launched the careers of promising artists including Chris Young, Buddy Jewel, Miranda Lambert, Lance Miller and Angela and Zac Hacker -- the siblings who made it a family affair by coming in first and second respectively last season. A massive multi-city casting search for this year's talent kicked off in early February and for the first time in the series' run, "Nashville Star" opened the auditions not just to solo artists but also to duets and singing groups who are primed to compete. Another first for the sixth season, in an attempt to find the best of the best, the competition will be open to singers 16-years and older. The 90-minute season premiere will take viewers behind the scenes and introduce them to the best and worst talent vying to be the next "Nashville Star." "Nashville Star" is created by Reveille and produced by 495 Productions. Ben Silverman, Howard T. Owens ("American Gladiators"), Mark Koops ("The Biggest Loser") and Sallyann Salsano ("Design Star," "A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila") serve as executive producers. Jon Small ("Garth Brooks Live in LA") is a producer. "Fear Itself" is a new, distinctive 13-episode suspense and horror anthology series set to push the boundaries of this classic genre through a host of provocative talent, both in front of and behind the camera, including award-winning, sought-after directors John Landis ("An American Werewolf in London"), Darren Bousman ("Saw II, III and IV") and Ronny Yu ("Bride of Chucky"); actors Brandon Routh ("Superman Returns"), Shiri Appleby ("Charlie Wilson's War"), Elisabeth Moss ("Mad Men"), Cynthia Watros ("Lost"), Eric Roberts (NBC's "Heroes") and John Billingsley ("Star Trek: Enterprise"); and writers, including Joe Gangemi ("Wind Chill," the novel "Inamorata"), Steve Niles ("30 Days of Night") and Dan Knauf ("Carnivale," "Supernatural"). The series is produced by Lionsgate in association with IE Indy TV, and was created by Mick Garris. The Emmy-winning team of Keith Addis and Andrew Deane ("Masters of Horror") are the executive producers. Peter Block is co-executive producer; Grant Rosenberg is supervising producer; and Adam Goldworm, Ben Browning and Jonathan Hackett are producers. "Celebrity Circus" is a spectacular live competition series that invites celebrities to participate alongside avant garde professional circus troupes in a visually arresting new competition series. The series will pit stars in a head-to-head competition, which will showcase some of the most death-defying circus acts ever seen on television. Each week viewers will cast their votes for the best acts, and determine which of the celebrities is going home. In every episode, the stars will be joined by electrifying performers from the world's greatest circus and cirque acts. Guided by top experts in each of the individual circus disciplines, the stars will have eight weeks to train and perfect their acts. To perform at their best they will have to go beyond anything they have done before, pushing their bodies and minds to the limits. Presentation, style and the ability to create a unique character are all aspects on which the celebrities will be judged. "Celebrity Circus" will follow the journey from the star's first frightening climb up the high wire ladder to the last nerve-wracking rehearsal. Then our celebrities will put it all on the line performing in our studio in front of a live audience. Our judges are experts from the finest circus and cirque shows in the world, and they will definitely let the celebrities know if their performances were up to snuff. With stunning visuals, dramatic stories, and breathtaking stunts, "Celebrity Circus" brings this incredible world into America's living rooms like never before. Celebrity competitors and the expert panel of judges will be announced at a later date. "Celebrity Circus" is produced by Endemol USA, the Emmy Award winning company behind "Deal or No Deal," "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," "Big Brother," and "Fear Factor." David Goldberg is the president of Endemol USA. "Celebrity Circus" is executive produced by Matt Kunitz ("Fear Factor") and co-executive produced by Rick Ringbakk ("Amazing Race"). NBC's new reality series "The Baby Borrowers" is an intriguing new social experiment based on the hit British program that asks five diverse teenage couples -- ages 18-20 -- to fast-track to adulthood by setting up a home, getting a job and becoming caring parents first to babies, toddlers, pre-teens and their pets, teenagers and senior citizens -- all over the course of three weeks. Through this emotional, dramatic journey, each young couple will get a unique opportunity to peer into the future and see what they (and their partners) might be like if they remain together and decide to build a family. Tested by the everyday ups and downs of taking care of others and maintaining a relationship, most of the teens find themselves looking at all of their relationships and notions of parenthood in a new light. "The Baby Borrowers" is produced by Love Productions. Richard McKerrow (the U.K.'s "Cirque de Celebrite") and Tom Shelly ("Survivor") are executive producers. Following is a brief schedule of "NBC's All-American Summer" premiere dates (all times ET): May 12 "American Gladiators" – two-hour premiere 8-10 p.m.; series resumes on May 19 (8-9:30) May 22 "Last Comic Standing" – premiere 9:30-11 p.m.; series resumes on May 29 (8:30-10 p.m.) May 29 "Fear Itself" – premiere 10-11 p.m. June 9 "Nashville Star" – (9:30-11 p.m.) June 11 "Celebrity Circus" – two-hour premiere (9-11 p.m.); series resumes on June 18 (9-10 p.m.) June 24 "America's Got Talent" – (9-11 p.m.); another two-hour show follows on July 1. Series resumes with regular hour-long episodes on July 8 (9-10 p.m.). The show will be on hiatus during the Olympics, returning on August 26 (performance episodes) and "results shows" commencing on August 27 (8-9 p.m.) June 25 "The Baby Borrowers" – (8-9 p.m.)
March 5, 2008, 4:54 p.m. CST
by Judge Briggs
bring it back to Showtime
March 5, 2008, 5:08 p.m. CST
....Masters of Horror sucked and that was without NBC censhorship. I give it a few episodes
March 5, 2008, 5:16 p.m. CST
by Flim Springfield
Screw taking years to tell a single story.
March 5, 2008, 5:19 p.m. CST
by Reel American Hero
It is perfectly possible to create a mood of suspense and horror without gore and nudity. The best horror in my opinion is stuff that a lot of times doesn't feature either. I love both bits of excess in my horror flicks, but the ones that feature those I usually appreciate more for the entertainment value, not for the benefit of being scary. The best horror features things that could be possible, and creeps you out just by the mood and story alone, not so much for softcore porn antics followed by a butcher knife through the chest or a beheading.
March 5, 2008, 5:29 p.m. CST
This will bomb a fiery death.
March 5, 2008, 5:36 p.m. CST
We need a show to demonstrate how bad 18 years old are as parents? Congrats, NBC! Another hit on your hands!
March 5, 2008, 5:39 p.m. CST
Prime viewing hour?
March 5, 2008, 5:54 p.m. CST
Please bring back Journeyman. Please?
March 5, 2008, 5:55 p.m. CST
Just redo this execs; you know you want to... ˚
March 5, 2008, 5:56 p.m. CST
On a few years ago.
March 5, 2008, 6:23 p.m. CST
I liked it better the first time I saw it in 1992...on a Simpsons episode (Mr. Plow)...when it was called Carnival of the Stars, live from Molokai. Jesus.
March 5, 2008, 6:51 p.m. CST
March 5, 2008, 6:55 p.m. CST
Sounds super-gay. And I should know.
March 5, 2008, 7:03 p.m. CST
Put up some shit Idol type shows no one watches?
March 5, 2008, 7:16 p.m. CST
Now I can officially check off NBC and all their reality (ahem *bullshit*) programming for the summer and get some friggin exercise outside instead. Thanks NBC! For sucking!
March 5, 2008, 7:59 p.m. CST
BUT I still can't wait for this. Bring back Journeyman too!
March 5, 2008, 8:01 p.m. CST
show on TV. I look forward to this. At least it's something different.
March 5, 2008, 9:24 p.m. CST
Nobody cares. This needs to be back on Showtime, and I'm sure after an episode or two, it will.
March 5, 2008, 10:50 p.m. CST
by Osmosis Jones
I still have fond memories of that show.
March 5, 2008, 10:51 p.m. CST
That is on there 24 hours a day.
March 5, 2008, 11:13 p.m. CST
with commercials....lots of commercials....is this covered under the new wga contract?
March 5, 2008, 11:15 p.m. CST
no one can write a good short story anymore....last good anthology series was tales from the crypt...and most of those stories originated from ec comics....ya....comics are sure shitty lit
March 5, 2008, 11:41 p.m. CST
Thank Allah that NBC is doing this rather then the Heroes spin off, when will that show get canceled. Pain in the ass.
March 6, 2008, 1:17 a.m. CST
You would think if they're going to go with a clichéd hackneyed marketing theme like "All-American Summer" that the shows would be "All-American". Fear Itself is shot in Canada. Nothing wrong with that, I just have a problem with shitty, ironic, marketing themes.
March 6, 2008, 5:37 a.m. CST
I will watch "Celeb Circus" if they feed Paris Hilton to the Tigers or Lions though, promise.
March 6, 2008, 7:38 a.m. CST
2 Seasons were not enough. I hope your watered down little brother turns out to be just as fun.
March 6, 2008, 9:48 a.m. CST
THAT I would watch.
March 6, 2008, 10:27 a.m. CST
crappy network reality programming in the summer? Remember the impersonator show on ABC last year? Yikes. Just give me new Rescue Me, Mad Men, Damages, Burn Notice, etc. Thank God for AMC, TNT, FX ...
March 6, 2008, 2:41 p.m. CST
by Ninja Nerd
You know, many people would insist that they were horrified at seeing a naked Janet Leigh get slashed in Psycho. Except for the fact that you never see a single wound inflicted. Or Janet Leigh nude. The jerky music, the lighting, the face of the "mother" in shadow, etc. were brilliantly able to make you think you saw more than you did. Genius stuff...still is. Horror doesn't need to be gory and explicit to be effective...just well-written and acted!
March 6, 2008, 8:44 p.m. CST
March 6, 2008, 11:35 p.m. CST
by Osmosis Jones
Take away the "chestburster" scene, and it's actually pretty tame.