2022 Critics Choice Real TV Awards: ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ and ‘Top Chef’ are the top winners

June 12, 2022

by Carla Hay

“Top Chef” host/judge Padma Lakshmi at the Fourth Annual Critics Choice Real TV Awards at Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles on June 12, 2022. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for the Critics Choice Real TV Awards)
“RuPaul’s Drag Race” producers and stars, including judge Michelle Visage (fourth from left), at the Fourth Annual Critics Choice Real TV Awards at Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles on June 12, 2022. (Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for the Critics Choice Real TV Awards)

The following is a press release from the Critics Choice Association:

The Critics Choice Association (CCA) and nonfiction producers’ organization NPACT unveiled today the winners for the fourth annual Critics Choice Real TV Awards, which recognize excellence in nonfiction, unscripted and reality programming across broadcast, cable and streaming platforms. Hosted by the Sklar Brothers, the annual event returned to an in-person ceremony and gala this year on June 12 at the Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles.

“RuPaul’s Drag Race” and “Top Chef” led the winners, taking home three awards each. “RuPaul’s Drag Race” captured Best Unstructured Series and Best Ensemble Cast in an Unscripted Series, while “Top Chef” won for Best Culinary Show and Best Show Host – Padme Lakshmi; the two shows shared a win as well, tying in the Best Competition Series category.

In the fan-voted categories, Robert Irvine of “Restaurant: Impossible” (Food Network) was awarded Male Star of the Year, while Selena Gomez of “Selena + Chef” (HBO Max) was named Female Star of the Year.

Bravo was the most awarded network of the evening, topping five categories.  

The late Bob Saget was honored with this year’s Critics Choice Real TV Impact Award, which recognizes an outstanding individual for career excellence and the positive impact they have made on the world of nonfiction content. John Stamos presented the Impact Award to Kelly Rizzo, wife of the late Bob Saget. Saget starred in many successful unscripted television shows, including the long-running “America’s Funniest Home Videos” and A&E’s “Strange Days with Bob Saget,” in addition to starring in the iconic “Full House.” He was also a Grammy-nominated standup comedian for over thirty years. Saget also previously hosted the inaugural NPACT Impact Awards (now the Critics Choice Real TV Awards) in 2018.

The Critics Choice Real TV Awards were launched in 2019 as a large-scale awards platform to give the robust (and still growing) unscripted genre critical attention and support. The awards celebrate programming across platforms, and also recognize industry leaders with special awards highlighting career achievements. Bob Bain and Joey Berlin serve as Executive Producers. Michelle Van Kempen also executive produces the show.

The Critics Choice Association monitors all awards submissions and selects the nominees in all competitive categories. Blue-ribbon nominating committees made up of CCA members with expertise in nonfiction, unscripted and reality programming determine the nominees. Winners are chosen by a vote of the CCA membership. NPACT leads the selection of non-competitive discretionary awards and awards for platforms and production companies.

About the Critics Choice Association (CCA) 

The Critics Choice Association is the largest critics organization in the United States and Canada, representing more than 525 media critics and entertainment journalists. It was established in 2019 with the formal merger of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association, recognizing the intersection between film, television, and streaming content. For more information, visit: www.CriticsChoice.com.

About NPACT

NPACT is the trade association for nonfiction production companies doing business in the U.S. Its members are comprised of production companies of all sizes, as well as allied services companies. NPACT serves as the voice for the nonfiction creative community, providing a forum for producers as they navigate changes in media and tackle business issues. For more information visit NPACT.org.

WINNERS AND NOMINEES OF THE FOURTH ANNUAL CRITICS CHOICE REAL TV AWARDS

**=winner

BEST COMPETITION SERIES

  • Chopped (Food Network)
  • Making It (NBC)
  • **RuPaul’s Drag Race (VH1)
  • The Amazing Race (CBS)
  • **Top Chef (Bravo)
  • The Great British Baking Show (Netflix)

BEST COMPETITION SERIES: TALENT/VARIETY

  • Dancing with the Stars (ABC)
  • Finding Magic Mike (HBO Max)
  • Legendary (HBO Max)
  • **Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls (Prime Video)
  • Next Level Chef (Fox)
  • The Voice (NBC)

BEST UNSTRUCTURED SERIES

  • Couples Therapy (Showtime)
  • **RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked (VH1)
  • The Kardashians (Hulu)
  • The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (Bravo)
  • The Real World Homecoming: New Orleans (Paramount+)
  • We’re Here (HBO)

BEST STRUCTURED SERIES

  • Catfish: The TV Show (MTV)
  • Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (Food Network)
  • Dr. Pimple Popper (TLC)
  • Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted (National Geographic)
  • **How To with John Wilson (HBO)
  • Sketchbook (Disney+)

BEST CULINARY SHOW

  • Cooking with Paris (Netflix)
  • Crime Scene Kitchen (Fox)
  • Is It Cake? (Netflix)
  • Magnolia Table with Joanna Gaines (Magnolia)
  • The Great British Baking Show (Netflix)
  • **Top Chef (Bravo)

BEST GAME SHOW

  • Family Game Fight! (NBC)
  • Holey Moley (ABC)
  • **Jeopardy! (Syndicated)
  • Supermarket Sweep (ABC)
  • The Price Is Right (CBS)
  • Weakest Link (NBC)

BEST TRAVEL/ADVENTURE SHOW

  • Alone (History)
  • Family Dinner (Magnolia)
  • **Somebody Feed Phil (Netflix)
  • The Amazing Race (CBS)
  • The World According to Jeff Goldblum (Disney+)
  • The World’s Most Amazing Vacation Rentals (Netflix)

BEST BUSINESS SHOW

  • American Greed (CNBC)
  • Bar Rescue (Paramount+)
  • Million Dollar Wheels (Discovery+) 
  • Restaurant: Impossible (Food Network)
  • **Shark Tank (ABC)
  • Undercover Boss (CBS)

BEST ANIMAL/NATURE SHOW

  • Crikey! It’s the Irwins (Discovery)
  • **Critter Fixers: Country Vets (National Geographic)
  • Eden: Untamed Planet (BBC America)
  • Growing Up Animal (Disney+)
  • Penguin Town (Netflix)
  • The Wizard of Paws (BYUtv)

BEST CRIME/JUSTICE SHOW

  • 911 Crisis Center (Oxygen)
  • Cold Justice (Oxygen)
  • Heist (Netflix)
  • Rich & Shameless (TNT)
  • **Secrets of Playboy (A&E)
  • Trafficked with Mariana van Zeller (National Geographic)

BEST SPORTS SHOW

  • 30 for 30 (ESPN)
  • Bad Sport (Netflix)
  • **Cheer (Netflix)
  • Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team (CMT)
  • Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel (HBO)
  • UNINTERRUPTED’s Top Class: The Life and Times of the Sierra Canyon Trailblazers (Freevee)

BEST RELATIONSHIP SHOW

  • 90 Day Fiancé (TLC)
  • La Máscara del Amor (Estrella TV)
  • **Love Is Blind (Netflix)
  • Love on the Spectrum (Netflix)
  • My Mom, Your Dad (HBO Max)
  • The Ultimatum: Marry or Move On (Netflix)

BEST LIFESTYLE: HOME/GARDEN SHOW

  • Celebrity IOU (HGTV)
  • Fixer Upper: Welcome Home (Magnolia)
  • Houses with History (HGTV)
  • Married to Real Estate (HGTV)
  • **Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles (Bravo)
  • Rock the Block (HGTV)

BEST LIFESTYLE: FASHION/BEAUTY SHOW

  • Glow Up (Netflix)
  • Love, Kam (SurvivorNetTV)
  • Making the Cut (Prime Video)
  • My Unorthodox Life (Netflix)
  • **Project Runway (Bravo)
  • The Hype (HBO Max)

BEST LIMITED SERIES

  • Abraham Lincoln (History)
  • Conversations with a Killer: The John Wayne Gacy Tapes (Netflix)
  • Crime Scene: The Times Square Killer (Netflix)
  • Sparking Joy with Marie Kondo (Netflix)
  • Theodore Roosevelt (History)
  • **We Need to Talk About Cosby (Showtime)

BEST ENSEMBLE CAST IN AN UNSCRIPTED SERIES

  • Dancing with the Stars (ABC)
  • **RuPaul’s Drag Race (VH1)
  • The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (Bravo)
  • The Real World Homecoming: New Orleans (Paramount+)
  • The Voice (NBC)
  • Top Chef (Bravo)

BEST SHOW HOST

  • Mayim Bialik – Jeopardy! (Syndicated)
  • Daniel “Desus Nice” Baker and Joel “The Kid Mero” Martinez – Desus & Mero (Showtime)
  • **Padma Lakshmi – Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi (Hulu); Top Chef (Bravo)
  • Trevor Noah – The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Comedy Central)
  • John Oliver – Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
  • RuPaul – RuPaul’s Drag Race (VH1)

MALE STAR OF THE YEAR

  • Jeff Goldblum – The World According to Jeff Goldblum (Disney+)
  • **Robert Irvine – Restaurant: Impossible (Food Network)
  • Trevor Noah – The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Comedy Central)
  • Phil Rosenthal – Somebody Feed Phil (Netflix)
  • RuPaul – RuPaul’s Drag Race (VH1)
  • Stanley Tucci – Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy (CNN)

FEMALE STAR OF THE YEAR

  • Samantha Bee – Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (TBS)
  • Kelly Clarkson – The Kelly Clarkson Show (Syndicated); The Voice (NBC); American Song Contest (NBC)
  • Joanna Gaines – Fixer Upper: Welcome Home (Magnolia); Magnolia Table with Joanna Gaines (Magnolia)
  • **Selena Gomez – Selena + Chef (HBO Max)
  • Padma Lakshmi – Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi (Hulu); Top Chef (Bravo)
  • Sandra Lee – Dr. Pimple Popper (TLC)

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN NONFICTION PROGRAMMING BY A NETWORK OR STREAMING PLATFORM

  • Discovery+
  • **HBO Max
  • Hulu
  • Netflix
  • TLC

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN NONFICTION PRODUCTION

  • Bunim/Murray Productions
  • **The Intellectual Property Corporation (IPC)
  • Kinetic Content
  • Raw TV
  • Sharp Entertainment
  • World of Wonder

WINNERS BY NETWORK FOR THE FOURTH ANNUAL CRITICS CHOICE REAL TV AWARDS

Bravo – 5

HBO / HBO Max – 3

Netflix – 3

VH1 – 3

A&E – 1

ABC – 1

CBS Television/Syndicated – 1

Food Network – 1

Hulu – 1

National Geographic – 1

Prime Video – 1

Showtime – 1

2022 Critics Choice Real TV Awards: ‘Top Chef’ is the top nominee

May 16, 2022

“Top Chef” judges Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio ad Gail Simmons (Photo by David Moir/Bravo)

The following is a press release from the Critics Choice Association and NPACT:

The Critics Choice Association (CCA) and nonfiction producers’ organization NPACT today unveiled the nominees for the fourth annual Critics Choice Real TV Awards, which recognize excellence in nonfiction, unscripted and reality programming across broadcast, cable and streaming platforms. The annual event returns to an in-person ceremony and gala this year, taking place on June 12 at the Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles.

“Top Chef” leads this year’s nominations, earning nods in five categories including Best Competition Series, Best Culinary Show, and Best Ensemble Cast in an Unscripted Series, with Padma Lakshmi earning nominations for Best Show Host and Female Star of the Year. Netflix leads the networks, having projects recognized in 20 categories.

Actors, comedians and television and podcast hosts Randy and Jason Sklar will host the fourth annual Critics Choice Real TV Awards. The brothers notably hosted and produced History Channel’s “United Stats of America” and created and starred in the ESPN cult hit series “Cheap Seats,” besides being guest hosts on “Jeff Ross Presents Roast Battle.” The Sklars can next be seen on “The Nose Bleeds,” a hilarious deep dive into UFC’s history that will launch this summer on UFC’s Fight Pass streaming service.

“Given its ongoing popularity across broadcast and cable networks, streaming services and other platforms, it’s clear that unscripted programming is deserving of special recognition by the Critics Choice Association,” said Ed Martin, President of the Critics Choice Association’s TV Branch. “The exciting programs and diverse personalities selected by our five nominating committees represent the best that this multi-faceted genre has to offer. The fourth annual Critics Choice Real TV Awards ceremony promises to be our most exciting yet.”

Said NPACT General Manager Michelle Van Kempen, “The amazing depth and quality of unscripted programming is evident in this year’s nominees, and we’re especially excited to be able to pay tribute to them and the entire unscripted community at an in-person gala, after two virtual years. It’s truly an honor to collaborate with the Critics Choice Association to celebrate the excellence and innovation of nonfiction content.”

Bob Bain and Joey Berlin will serve as Executive Producers. Michelle Van Kempen also executive produces the show.

The Critics Choice Real TV Awards were launched in 2019 as a large-scale awards platform to give the robust (and still growing) unscripted genre critical attention and support. The awards celebrate programming across platforms, and also recognize industry leaders with special awards highlighting career achievements.

The Critics Choice Association monitors all awards submissions and selects the nominees in all competitive categories. Blue-ribbon nominating committees made up of CCA members with expertise in nonfiction, unscripted and reality programming determine the nominees. Winners will be chosen by a vote of the CCA membership. NPACT leads the selection of non-competitive discretionary awards and awards for platforms and production companies.

About the Critics Choice Association (CCA) 

The Critics Choice Association is the largest critics organization in the United States and Canada, representing more than 525 media critics and entertainment journalists. It was established in 2019 with the formal merger of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association, recognizing the intersection between film, television, and streaming content. For more information, visit: www.CriticsChoice.com.

About NPACT

NPACT is the trade association for nonfiction production companies doing business in the U.S. Its members are comprised of production companies of all sizes, as well as allied services companies. NPACT serves as the voice for the nonfiction creative community, providing a forum for producers as they navigate changes in media and tackle business issues. For more information visit NPACT.org.

# # #

NOMINATIONS FOR THE FOURTH ANNUAL CRITICS CHOICE REAL TV AWARDS

BEST COMPETITION SERIES

  • Chopped (Food Network)
  • Making It (NBC)
  • RuPaul’s Drag Race (VH1)
  • The Amazing Race (CBS)
  • Top Chef (Bravo)
  • The Great British Baking Show (Netflix)

BEST COMPETITION SERIES: TALENT/VARIETY

  • Dancing with the Stars (ABC)
  • Finding Magic Mike (HBO Max)
  • Legendary (HBO Max)
  • Lizzo’s Watch Out for the Big Grrrls (Prime Video)
  • Next Level Chef (Fox)
  • The Voice (NBC)

BEST UNSTRUCTURED SERIES

  • Couples Therapy (Showtime)
  • RuPaul’s Drag Race: Untucked (VH1)
  • The Kardashians (Hulu)
  • The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (Bravo)
  • The Real World Homecoming: New Orleans (Paramount+)
  • We’re Here (HBO)

BEST STRUCTURED SERIES

  • Catfish: The TV Show (MTV)
  • Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (Food Network)
  • Dr. Pimple Popper (TLC)
  • Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted (National Geographic)
  • How To with John Wilson (HBO)
  • Sketchbook (Disney+)

BEST CULINARY SHOW

  • Cooking with Paris (Netflix)
  • Crime Scene Kitchen (Fox)
  • Is It Cake? (Netflix)
  • Magnolia Table with Joanna Gaines (Magnolia)
  • The Great British Baking Show (Netflix)
  • Top Chef (Bravo)

BEST GAME SHOW

  • Family Game Fight! (NBC)
  • Holey Moley (ABC)
  • Jeopardy! (Syndicated)
  • Supermarket Sweep (ABC)
  • The Price Is Right (CBS)
  • Weakest Link (NBC)

BEST TRAVEL/ADVENTURE SHOW

  • Alone (History)
  • Family Dinner (Magnolia)
  • Somebody Feed Phil (Netflix)
  • The Amazing Race (CBS)
  • The World According to Jeff Goldblum (Disney+)
  • The World’s Most Amazing Vacation Rentals (Netflix)

BEST BUSINESS SHOW

  • American Greed (CNBC)
  • Bar Rescue (Paramount+)
  • Million Dollar Wheels (Discovery+) 
  • Restaurant: Impossible (Food Network)
  • Shark Tank (ABC)
  • Undercover Boss (CBS)

BEST ANIMAL/NATURE SHOW

  • Crikey! It’s the Irwins (Discovery)
  • Critter Fixers: Country Vets (National Geographic)
  • Eden: Untamed Planet (BBC America)
  • Growing Up Animal (Disney+)
  • Penguin Town (Netflix)
  • The Wizard of Paws (BYUtv)

BEST CRIME/JUSTICE SHOW

  • 911 Crisis Center (Oxygen)
  • Cold Justice (Oxygen)
  • Heist (Netflix)
  • Rich & Shameless (TNT)
  • Secrets of Playboy (A&E)
  • Trafficked with Mariana van Zeller (National Geographic)

BEST SPORTS SHOW

  • 30 for 30 (ESPN)
  • Bad Sport (Netflix)
  • Cheer (Netflix)
  • Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team (CMT)
  • Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel (HBO)
  • Top Class: The Life and Times of the Sierra Canyon Trailblazers (Prime Video)

BEST RELATIONSHIP SHOW

  • 90 Day Fiancé (TLC)
  • La Máscara del Amor (Estrella TV)
  • Love Is Blind (Netflix)
  • Love on the Spectrum (Netflix)
  • My Mom, Your Dad (HBO Max)
  • The Ultimatum: Marry or Move On (Netflix)

BEST LIFESTYLE: HOME/GARDEN SHOW

  • Celebrity IOU (HGTV)
  • Fixer Upper: Welcome Home (Magnolia)
  • Houses with History (HGTV)
  • Married to Real Estate (HGTV)
  • Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles (Bravo)
  • Rock the Block (HGTV)

BEST LIFESTYLE: FASHION/BEAUTY SHOW

  • Glow Up (Netflix)
  • Love, Kam (SurvivorNetTV)
  • Making the Cut (Prime Video)
  • My Unorthodox Life (Netflix)
  • Project Runway (Bravo)
  • The Hype (HBO Max)

BEST LIMITED SERIES

  • Abraham Lincoln (History)
  • Conversations with a Killer: The John Wayne Gacy Tapes (Netflix)
  • Crime Scene: The Times Square Killer (Netflix)
  • Sparking Joy with Marie Kondo (Netflix)
  • Theodore Roosevelt (History)
  • We Need to Talk About Cosby (Showtime)

BEST ENSEMBLE CAST IN AN UNSCRIPTED SERIES

  • Dancing with the Stars (ABC)
  • RuPaul’s Drag Race (VH1)
  • The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills (Bravo)
  • The Real World Homecoming: New Orleans (Paramount+)
  • The Voice (NBC)
  • Top Chef (Bravo)

BEST SHOW HOST

  • Mayim Bialik – Jeopardy! (Syndicated)
  • Daniel “Desus Nice” Baker and Joel “The Kid Mero” Martinez – Desus & Mero (Showtime)
  • Padma Lakshmi – Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi (Hulu); Top Chef (Bravo)
  • Trevor Noah – The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Comedy Central)
  • John Oliver – Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
  • RuPaul – RuPaul’s Drag Race (VH1)

MALE STAR OF THE YEAR

  • Jeff Goldblum – The World According to Jeff Goldblum (Disney+)
  • Robert Irvine – Restaurant: Impossible (Food Network)
  • Trevor Noah – The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (Comedy Central)
  • Phil Rosenthal – Somebody Feed Phil (Netflix)
  • RuPaul – RuPaul’s Drag Race (VH1)
  • Stanley Tucci – Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy (CNN)

FEMALE STAR OF THE YEAR

  • Samantha Bee – Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (TBS)
  • Kelly Clarkson – The Kelly Clarkson Show (Syndicated); The Voice (NBC); American Song Contest (NBC)
  • Joanna Gaines – Fixer Upper: Welcome Home (Magnolia); Magnolia Table with Joanna Gaines (Magnolia)
  • Selena Gomez – Selena + Chef (HBO Max)
  • Padma Lakshmi – Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi (Hulu); Top Chef (Bravo)
  • Sandra Lee – Dr. Pimple Popper (TLC)

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN NONFICTION PROGRAMMING BY A NETWORK OR STREAMING PLATFORM

  • Discovery+
  • HBO Max
  • Hulu
  • Netflix
  • TLC

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT IN NONFICTION PRODUCTION

  • Bunim/Murray Productions
  • The Intellectual Property Corporation (IPC)
  • Kinetic Content
  • Raw TV
  • Sharp Entertainment
  • World of Wonder

Amazon Prime Video series ‘Making the Cut,’ starring Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn, announces Season 1 contestants

February 24, 2020

The following is a press release from Amazon Prime Video:

Amazon Original series “Making the Cut” reveals its first official look at the upcoming season, hosted and executive produced by Heidi Klum & Tim Gunn. The series will premiere on Prime Video on Friday March 27, 2020. The 10-episode fashion competition series, which brings together a diverse group of 12 talented entrepreneurs and designers, will premiere two new episodes each week, culminating in an epic finale on April 24, 2020.

In this first-ever global and instantly shoppable series, limited editions of the winning look from each episode will be available for purchase exclusively on Amazon in the “Making the Cut” store. During the course of the season, those who do not “make the cut” will be eliminated, with the winning designer from the finale receiving one million dollars to invest in their brand and the opportunity to create an exclusive line available on Amazon.

The dozen designers featured on “Making the Cut” will visit three of the world’s fashion capitals – New York, Paris, and Toyko – and face challenges and assignments that will test not only their design skills but also their ability to run all aspects of a business. Judging their looks and industry acumen are some of fashion’s most recognizable and influential names, including Naomi Campbell, Nicole Richie, Joseph Altuzarra, Carine Roitfeld and Chiara Ferragni. The series is executive produced by Sara Rea, Page Feldman, Heidi Klum, Tim Gunn and Jennifer Love, directed by Ramy Romany and produced by Amazon Studios and SKR Productions.

As previously announced, the 12 designers competing for an opportunity of a lifetime are:

Sander Bos, 24, Hasselt, Belgium: Featuring avant-garde inspired looks, Bos is a young designer who runs his namesake line. Raised in a small town in Belgium, he is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp and is eager to make his mark on a global scale.

Rinat Brodach, 35, New York City: Brodach was a fan of fashion from an early age while growing up in in Israel and later came to the US to study design. Her eponymous line features a minimalist chic, gender-free aesthetic, reflecting her own straightforward personality. She recently dressed Billy Porter for the Critics’ Choice Awards and her designs have also been worn by Laverne Cox and Adam Lambert.

Ji Won Choi, 26, New York City: The Parson graduate is a designer of elevated, active streetwear that she sells under her namesake brand and has collaborated with Adidas, with pieces worn by Beyoncé and Kendall Jenner. Born in Seoul, South Korea, raised in Oklahoma, and educated in New York City and Paris, her work is a reflection of how Choi sees herself in the world.

Jasmine Chong, 31, New York City: Born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Chong is the owner of her self-titled feminine ready-to-wear line, has previously shown at NYFW and her line has been featured in a number of fashion magazines. Inspired by her seamstress grandmother and her fashion designer mother, she is focused on creating beautiful clothing that appeals to all body types.

Jonny Cota, 35, Los Angeles, CA: The self-taught owner of the elevated streetwear brand Skingraft, Cota produces two men’s and women’s ready-to-wear collections yearly and has shown five times at New York Fashion Week. In addition, he has dressed celebrities including Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé.

Martha Gottwald, 28, Richmond, VA: The Louisiana native and mother of two is owner of the womenswear brand Neubyrne and has been featured in British Vogue and shown at NYFW. Like Gottwald herself, Neubyrne embraces color and whimsicality. The survivor of a near fatal car accident that taught her about strength and endurance, she is a relatively new designer who was inspired by artisans she met in Singapore.

Troy Hul Arnold, 34, New York City: An adjunct professor at Parsons, Hul Arnold was born in Trinidad and Tobago before coming to the US as a child. His brand, Hul Arnold, features minimalist, avant-garde menswear inspired looks for women; one of his designs was worn by Sarah Jessica Parker on Glee. Hul Arnold takes an artisanal approach to his fashion, and he refers to his pieces as functional sculptures.

Joshua Hupper, 38, Shanghai, China: Founder of BABYGHOST, a wildly successful e-commerce fashion brand based in China, Hupper’s designs have been featured in Vogue and on runways around the world. His line features youthful, feminine ready-to-wear fashions for the “mischievous girl.” Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Hupper’s talents were shaped by his artistic upbringing and internships with Diane Von Furstenburg and Thakoon.

Esther Perbandt, 43, Berlin, Germany: Founder and namesake Esther Perbandt was born and bred in Berlin, toughened up in Moscow and polished in Paris. Owner of her eponymous line, which features edgy, menswear-inspired separates, Perbandt has created more than 30 collections over the brand’s 15 year history and has been running her highly successful boutique in Berlin for ten years. As an artist, she has also collaborated on countless music, film and theatre projects.

Will Riddle, 31, New York City: Riddle’s design skills, featuring a modern take on old glamour, have led to a series of impressive jobs, including Atelier Director at Oscar de la Renta, 3.1 Philip Lim, and now men’s designer at Kith – a far journey from growing up in a trailer park in Ohio. With an impressive resume under his belt, Riddle is ready to start his own label.

Sabato Russo, 64, Milan, Italy: A seasoned designer with a 25-year career in the industry, Russo is owner of the brand Satorial Monk, which focuses on high end simplicity. A former model who is able to speak four languages, Russo has a global point of view that is reflected in his sophisticated, timeless looks. Russo is currently working on his “Made in Italy” line entitled Sabato Russo.

Megan Smith, 38, Los Angeles, CA: Born and raised in Kansas City, KS, Smith first discovered her love of fashion design while creating clothes for her Barbie dolls. After designing private label for several major bands and retailers, Smith branched out and launched her own line “Megan Renee.” The response to her first runway show during Los Angeles Fashion Week was so overwhelming, she launched her online boutique to sell her collections to customers worldwide. Her line features feminine, 70’s inspired cocktail attire.

Making The Cut Social Handles: #MakingtheCut
Twitter: @MakingtheCutTV
Instagram: @MakingtheCutTV

Amazon Prime Video Social Handles:
Twitter: @PrimeVideo
Instagram: @AmazonPrimeVideo

Amazon Fashion Social Handles:
Instagram & Twitter: @AmazonFashion

Making The Cut Talent & Judge Social Handles:
Heidi Klum: Twitter and Instagram @HeidiKlum
Tim Gunn: Twitter and Instagram @TimGunn
Naomi Campbell: Twitter @NaomiCampbell and Instagram @Naomi
Nicole Richie: Twitter and Instagram @NicoleRichie
Carine Roitfeld: Instagram @CarineRoitfeld
Joseph Altuzarra: Instagram @JosephAltuzarra
Chiara Ferragni: Twitter and Instagram @ChiaraFerragni

Netflix teams up with Cardi B, Chance the Rapper, T.I. for hip-hop competition ‘Rhythm + Flow’

November 13, 2018

The following is a press release from Netflix:

Global superstars Cardi B, Chance the Rapper, and T.I. will search for the next breakout hip-hop star in “Rhythm + Flow,” Netflix’s first music competition show set to debut in 2019.

The series—produced by John Legend, Jeff Gaspin, Jesse Collins, Nikki Boella, Jeff Pollack, Mike Jackson, and Ty Stiklorius—will bring together the biggest names in music to find fresh talent and help undiscovered hip-hop artists pursue their dreams.

Cardi B, Chance the Rapper, and T.I. will serve as the three main judges for the competition, joining forces with additional artists and industry VIPs to be announced in the coming weeks.

The multi-city competition will unfold over 10 hour-long episodes beginning in fall 2019.

Auditions will begin this fall across the United States, including the judges’ hometowns of Atlanta, Chicago, and New York.  In each audition city, established rappers who hail from that city will serve as guest judges to help seek out the best unsigned hip-hop artists.  Learn more about how to audition at www.RhythmAndFlowAuditions.com.

Production Companies: Jesse Collins Entertainment, Get Lifted Film Co., and Gaspin Media.

Executive Producers: Jesse Collins for Jesse Collins Entertainment; John Legend, Mike Jackson, and Ty Stiklorius for Get Lifted Film Co.; Jeff Gaspin for Gaspin Media; Nikki Boella; Jeff Pollack; Cardi B; Chance the Rapper; and T.I.

About Jesse Collins Entertainment

Jesse Collins Entertainment (JCE) is a full service television and film production company founded by entertainment industry veteran Jesse Collins. For over a decade, Collins has played an integral role in producing many of television’s most memorable moments in music entertainment.  Collins has produced ground-breaking and award winning television programming including the BET Awards, the Grammy Awards, Soul Train Awards, BET Honors, UNCF An Evening of Stars, ABFF Honors and the BET Hip Hop Awards. Collins was an executive producer of the hit TV series “Real Husbands of Hollywood,” starring Kevin Hart, and both the critically-acclaimed mini-series “The New Edition Story” and “The Bobby Brown Story” that reached nearly 50 million total viewers.  He is also the executive producer of the VH1 shows “Dear Mama” and “Hip Hop Squares” with Ice Cube.

About Get Lifted Film Co.

Get Lifted Film Co. is a film and television production company based in Los Angeles, with principals John Legend, Mike Jackson, and Ty Stiklorius.   They executive produced WGN America’s critically acclaimed drama “Underground,” and served as executive producers on Pop Network’s docu-series “Sing It On.” They also executive produced HBO Documentary “Southern Rites.” Most recently they served as executive producers on NBC Live’s “Jesus Christ Superstar,” for which they won a 2018 Emmy Award. They are currently in pre-production on their Diallo Riddle and Bashir Salahudin created IFC series “Sherman’s Showcase.” Additionally, they served as executive producers on Damien Chazelle’s Oscar-winning musical “La La Land,” and the Obama romance “Southside With You.” Get Lifted made an impressionable foray into theatre in 2016, producing the audience-favorite “Turn Me Loose,” an off-Broadway one-man play about the life of iconic comedian Dick Gregory. In 2017, Get Lifted co-produced Broadway’s August Wilson play “Jitney,” which won a Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play. Most recently their documentary “United Skates” won the 2018 Audience Award at Tribeca Film Festival and will premiere on HBO in 2019.

About Gaspin Media

Gaspin Media is a production company formed by former Chairman of NBC Universal TV,  Jeff Gaspin. Gaspin Media produces scripted and unscripted content for Broadcast, Cable,  Streaming and digital platforms. A Two-time Emmy nominee for “Behind the Music,” Gaspin Is currently executive producer on “LA’s Finest,” staring Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba, for Spectrum’s OTT platform, and “To Tell the Truth,” which is entering it’s fourth season on ABC.  Additionally, Gaspin has series in development at Showtime, Amazon, Fox Network and Lifetime. Over the past five years, Gaspin Media has produced over a dozen series including “Fit To Fat” for A&E, “First Impressions” with Dana Carvey for USA and “Match Made in Heaven” for WEtv.

About Jeff Pollack

Jeff Pollack has worked on over 40 films, five of which received Academy Award nominations for Best Original Song. The “Weary Kind” from “Crazy Heart,” starring Jeff Bridges, went on to win the award. Recently, Pollack was a producer on the Emmy-nominated HBO film about Frank Sinatra “All or Nothing At All.” He was also an associate producer on the film Glen Campbell “I’ll Be Me,” which featured two Grammy-winning songs, including “I’m Not Going to Miss You,” later nominated for a Best Song Oscar. He was a producer on the film “Satan & Adam” which premiered earlier this year at Tribeca Festival, and is an executive producer on a new Johnny Cash film to be released in 2019.

About Netflix

Netflix is the world’s leading internet entertainment service with 130 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.

NBC announces ‘Songland’ competition for aspiring songwriters; Adam Levine, Dave Stewart among executive producers

October 9, 2018

Songland logo

Adam Levine (Photo by Evans Vestal Ward/NBC)

The following is a press release from NBCUniversal:

Long before a rock star can bring a crowd to its feet or have an album go platinum, a songwriter infuses their melody and lyrics with emotion, passion and heart.

Aiming to find the next generation of hit songwriters, NBC and Universal Television Alternative Studio are bringing powerhouse producer Audrey Morrissey of “The Voice,” Eurythmics co-founder and producer Dave Stewart, Maroon 5’s Adam Levine and OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder together to produce “Songland.” The series will provide a one-of-a-kind opportunity for talented up-and-coming songwriters to be exposed to and mentored by three music producers per episode who are responsible for today’s biggest hits.

The 11-episode original competition series creates a unique platform for new voices to be heard.

The first edge-of-your-seat episode features three-time Grammy nominee, Billboard chart topper and songwriter Charlie Puth as the mega-recording artist along with a panel of producer-songwriters that includes Grammy winner Tedder, singer and Grammy-nominated songwriter Ester Dean and Grammy-winning country singer-songwriter Shane McAnally.

“Songwriters shape the anthems and tell the stories of each generation, and now we’re pulling back the curtain on the collaborative process and opening the door for new talent to emerge,” said Meredith Ahr, President, Universal Television Alternative Studio. “While filming our first episode, the excitement was palpable as we witnessed the creative direction of our panelists transform and elevate the music right before our eyes. Without a doubt, ‘Songland’ will inspire music lovers and give us all a greater appreciation for the songs we love.”

“Music touches people’s lives daily, but few understand how the songs they love are made,” said Morrissey. “Songwriters are the unseen creative force of the music industry. Their lyrics and melodies affect us in deep and meaningful ways, and I’m excited to be part of a show that puts a spotlight on the creators of songs.”

“Songwriters, whether you are aware of it or not, compose the theme songs to our lives. A song can be the pillar on which our dreams are made of or the shoulder on which we cry,” said Stewart. “I’ve been writing songs with and for other people for 40 years and it’s always a thrill to hear those songs interpreted and recorded by all kinds of artists. I’m excited for the viewers to see and hear that magic being created between unknown songwriters and our panel of hit-making mentors.”

“‘Songland’ has been an ongoing passion project for both myself as well as my team at 222,” said Levine. “As a songwriter, I am all too familiar with the challenges that face the music community today. With this new series, we are excited to provide opportunities that will not only impact these songwriters’ careers but also give them a platform to truly showcase their talent to a global audience.”

The series takes an inside look at the creative process and provides one talented winner per episode the priceless opportunity to have their song recorded for a global audience by the chart-topping artists featured in their show.

In each episode five songwriters will perform their original tracks in front of three top music producers and a major recording artist on an intimate soundstage. Each song’s lyrics, arrangements, beats, melody and story will be considered by the panel as producers engage in a lively discussion about ways to creatively adapt them to better fit the style and sensibility of the recording artist of the week.

After the performances, the mega-recording artist will choose three songwriters to move forward to the studio and pair them each with the producer best suited to perfect their song. In the studio, the songs will take shape in unexpected ways as the songwriter and producer duos work together to win over the recording artist. In the end, a winner will be chosen and their song will be recorded and released as the top artist’s next single.

“Songland” is a show that gives songwriters the opportunity to showcase their talents regardless of where they come from or what their day job might be. The series is looking for submissions from people of all walks of life from up-and-coming songwriters and music students, to stay at home moms, bartenders and school teachers. For those interested in appearing on “Songland,” please go to https://www.songlandcasting.com/coming-soon.php.

“Songland” will be executive produced by Stewart, Morrissey, Levine and director Ivan Dudynsky. Josh Gummersall will serve as producer along with Ryan Tedder who is represented by Ron Laffitte, Dana Salant for Patriot Management. The concept was devised by Stewart, Morrissey and Dudynsky.

“Songland” will be produced by Live Animals in association with Universal Television Alternative Studio, Dave Stewart Entertainment and 222 Productions. Levine and 222 Productions are represented by Irving Azoff, Adam Harrison for management and WME for film and television.

ABOUT UNIVERSAL TELEVISION ALTERNATIVE STUDIO

Launched in 2016, Universal Television Alternative Studio is a leading supplier of hit unscripted content and alternative formats, and creates, develops and produces a diverse slate of original series domestically and internationally. The studio’s most recent breakout hit is “Making It,” from executive producers Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman, and the #1 new series of 2017, “World of Dance,” starring and executive produced by Jennifer Lopez. Additionally, the studio is responsible for the high-stakes game show “The Wall,” which has been sold into 27 territories internationally and has become the highest-rated game show in multiple territories around the world. The hit series “Better Late Than Never” ranked as the #1 new summer series of 2016 and returned this year for season two with more fun, comedy and adventure. Hosted by Emmy Award winner Jane Lynch, “Hollywood Game Night” has been sold internationally in 17 territories and will begin production on its sixth season in 2018. This year the studio debuted “In Search Of” with Zachary Quinto for History. Upcoming series will include NBC’s athletic competition show “The Titan Games,” starring and executive produced by Dwayne Johnson. Universal Television Alternative Studio is a division of NBCUniversal.

Shania Twain, Jake Owen are hosts and judges of talent contest ‘Real Country’

April 30, 2018

The following is a press release from USA Network:

USA Network today announced “Real Country,” a new country music showcase series featuring multi-platinum, five-time GRAMMY Award®-winning trailblazer Shania Twain, and ACM Award-winning and platinum-selling singer-songwriter Jake Owen. Premiering this fall on USA, the eight-part “Real Country”  will film this summer in Nashville and is produced by Wilshire Studios, with Twain, Nicolle Yaron, Stijn Bakkers and Leslie Garvin set to executive produce.

In each hour-long episode, Twain and Owen hand-select emerging solo artists, duos and groups to perform in showcases that spotlight the rich traditions, songs and themes of specific country genres. The best artists from each showcase will perform in a grand finale, for the chance to be named one of country music’s next breakout acts.

“’Real Country’ celebrates everything we love about country music, while providing a unique platform for emerging artists to showcase their talent,” said Heather Olander, Senior Vice President, Alternative Development and Production, USA Network. She added: “We are extremely lucky to work with both Shania and Jake. Shania is a true international icon who remains the best-selling female country artist of all time and whose music broke barriers across genres, and Jake is an ACM Award-winner who consistently dominates the country charts with some of today’s biggest hits.”

Twain shared: “It’s been an incredible year for me, releasing my new album and coming back to country music. I feel it’s time for me to add my own support in finding our greatest undiscovered talent. It’s beyond thrilling to be leading the charge with “Real Country,” and I’m on a mission to find artists who will keep country music diverse and dynamic. The kind of diversity that inspired all of us.”

Added Owen: “Country music truly seems to be the healing factor in a lot of people’s lives. I will always be grateful for music, whether I’m performing or listening, and I want to encourage up-and-coming artists to tell their stories, find their audiences and make their mark in country music with the same guidance that artists have given to me throughout my journey.”

“NBCUniversal has made a commitment to reimagine the commercial experience,” said Mark Marshall, Executive Vice President, Entertainment Advertising Sales, NBCUniversal. “’Real Country’ is a tremendous opportunity for advertisers to connect with the genre’s passionate fan base in an engaging and authentic way.”

Anyone interested in being invited to perform on one of “Real Country’s” showcases can apply at http://realcountry.castingcrane.com or via email at [email protected].

About Shania Twain:
International superstar Shania Twain is a five-time GRAMMY winner and the reigning Queen of Country Pop. With more than 90 million albums sold worldwide and U.S. sales topping 34.5 million, Twain remains the top-selling female country artist of all time. Her albums include “Shania Twain,” Twain’s Platinum-selling 1993 debut; “The Woman in Me,” her GRAMMY Award-winning, Double Diamond-selling 1995 release; “Come On Over,” the best-selling studio album in Soundscan history by a female artist in any genre and the best-selling country album of all time with over 40 million units sold worldwide; and “UP!,” Twain’s third consecutive Diamond-selling album release.

Recognizing her indelible impact and achievements in music, Twain is the first and only female to receive CMT’s Artist of a Lifetime Award, and she recently received the Icon Award at Billboard’s Women in Music ceremony. Twain’s hits include “Any Man of Mine,” “That Don’t Impress Me Much,” “You’re Still the One” and “Man! I Feel Like A Woman!” Twain’s first album in 15 years, “NOW,” was released in September 2017 and debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Top 200 albums, making it the first female country release in over three years to top the all-genre chart. Additionally, the album landed at No. 1 on the Billboard Top Country album chart and went to No. 1 in Canada, Australia and the UK. Twain is currently gearing up to embark on her 2018 NOW World Tour.

About Jake Owen:
ACM award-winner and Grammy-nominated Owen has had six No. 1 singles to date – the two-time platinum anthem “Barefoot Blue Jean Night,” platinum-certified hits “Beachin’,” “Anywhere with You,” “Alone with You,” “The One That Got Away” and, gold-certified “American Country Love Song.” Owen’s fifth studio album, “American Love,” debuted at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums chart and No. 4 on the Billboard 200 all-genre chart. Most recently, Owen signed a new label deal with Big Loud Records, reuniting him with producer Joey Moi. Owen’s debut single for Big Loud, “I Was Jack (You Were Diane),” is the fastest rising single of his career. Owen and Moi are currently in the studio working on a forthcoming project.

About USA Network:
USA Network, the leader in cable entertainment, offers a powerful stable of dramatic, comedic and unscripted originals in more than 102 million U.S. homes. The network also features spectacular live television, a dynamic portfolio of acquired series and the best in blockbuster theatrical films and entertainment events. A trailblazer in digital innovation and storytelling, USA is defining, driving and setting the industry standard for Social TV. USA is a program service of NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment, a division of NBCUniversal. USA’s award-winning website is located at http://www.usanetwork.com. Watch USA Network anywhere: On Demand, online or across mobile and connected TVs.

About Wilshire Studios:
Wilshire Studios develops and produces a diverse slate of original unscripted programming for multiple platforms, aligning with award-winning producers and innovative storytellers to create compelling content that explores reality through a variety of formats. From E!’s signature “Live from the Red Carpet,” USA Network’s “The Cromarties” and Oxygen’s “Mysteries and Scandals,” to the upcoming “Real Country” for USA, “Unspeakable Crime: The Killing of Jessica Chambers for Oxygen” and the debut “People’s Choice Awards” on E!, Wilshire Studios produces series that are informative, revealing, thrilling and entertaining. Wilshire Studios is part of the NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment portfolio.

Charlie Walk scandal: Music executive dropped from ‘The Four’ after sexual harassment allegations

January 31, 2018

by Colleen McGregor

Charlie Walk
Charlie Walk (Photo by Brian Bowen Smith/Fox)

Veteran music executive Charlie Walk has been dropped from Fox’s singing competition “The Four: Battle for Stardom” after two women who used to work with him have come forward to accuse him of sexual harassment, according to a Deadline report published on January 31, 2018. In addition, Walk has also been placed on leave by the Republic Group, where he served as president. He joined the company in 2013 as executive vice president of Republic Records. Universal Music Group, the owner and distributor of Republic, issued a statement that it is investigating the allegations and will make a decision about Walk’s employment status when the investigation is completed. Walk, who is married with children, has denied all the allegations.

Walk was one of four judges on “The Four,” a  talent contest in which the winner gets a record deal with Republic. Sean “Diddy” Combs, Meghan Trainor and DJ Khaled are the show’s other judges. Former Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie is the show’s host.

“The Four” (which is produced  by ITV Entertainment and Armoza Formats) premiered on January 4,  2018. Walk already taped the episode that airs on February 1, 2018, but sources told Deadline that Walk will not be on the show’s season finale  that airs on February 8, 2018. “The Four” has had bad reviews and mediocre ratings, averaging a little more than 3 million U.S. viewers per episode.

Pictured from left to right: “The Four” host Fergie with “The Four” judges DJ Khaled, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Meghan Trainor and Charlie Walk. (Photo by Brian Bowen Smith/Fox)

One of Walk’s accusers is Life Lab founder Tristan Coopersmith, who went on the Internet on January 29, 2018, to describe Walk as a “scumbag” boss who repeatedly harassed her with lewd comments, unwanted groping and sexually inappropriate text messages. In a lengthy open letter to Walk, she also described an incident in which a drunken Walk allegedly forced her onto a bed at his home with his unknowing wife in the next room. Coopersmith said she rejected Walk’s sexual advances but his alleged harassment left her traumatized. In her letter, Coopersmith did not give specific dates on when these incidents allegedly occurred, but she said that she worked for Walk for a year in the early 2000s, starting when she was 27, while he was an executive at Sony Music’s Columbia Records. She also said that she reported the harassment at the time to a senior executive at the company, who allegedly told her that there was nothing she could do about it. She later accepted a payment to leave the company. Coopersmith has not worked in the music industry since 2010, and she says that Walk was one of the main reasons why she left the industry.

The second woman accusing Walk of harassment has chosen to remain anonymous, but she has been described in reports as a former Republic employee who is currently working in the music industry as a marketing executive. She also told similar stories of Walk making lewd comments to her, sending her sexually inappropriate texts and videos, and trying to lure her into having a sexual tryst with him. After she was laid off from the company, she tried to keep in touch with Walk because she considered him to be an powerful person who could still help her career, but she cut off contact with him after he continued to make sexual advances toward her. The anonymous accuser says she rejected Walk’s advances.

At Republic, Walk had been instrumental in shaping the music careers of DNCE, Hailee Steinfeld, Julia Michaels, The Weeknd, Lorde and Ariana Grande. He also led promotion partnerships for Big Machine Label Group (Taylor Swift), Cash Money Records (Drake, Nicki Minaj) and Island Records (Shawn Mendes, Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas).

Before joining Republic, Walk was co-founder of the marketing company RJW Collective, later known as JWALK, from 2009 to 2014. He was previously president of Sony Music’s Epic Records from 2005 to  2009. At Epic, he worked with such artists as Shakira, Sean Kingston, The Fray and Sara Bareilles.. From 1990 to 2005, Walk was a marketing and promotion executive at Sony’s Columbia Records, where he helped shape the careers of artists such as Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé, John Mayer, New Kids on the Block, the Fugees and John Legend.

February 8, 2018 UPDATE: “The Four” has been renewed for a second season, which will air in the summer of 2018 on dates to be announced , according to a press release issued by Fox. Evvie McKinney was the winner of the show’s first season. Fox has announced that for Season 2 of “The Four,” Combs, DJ Khaled and Trainor will continue their roles as judges, while Fergie will continue to host the show. It has not yet been announced who will replace Walk.

March 28, 2018 UPDATE: Republic Records has announced that it has reached a mutual agreement with Charlie Walk to leave the company, effective immediately. Republic said it would have no further comment on the matter. The announcement came one month after Rolling Stone published a report in which several other women came forward to tell stories about Walk harassing them while he was their boss or work colleague.

April 16, 2018 UPDATE: Fox has announced that the second season of “The Four” will premiere on June 7, 2018. Combs, DJ Khaled and Trainor are the show’s only judges for Season 2. Walk will not be replaced on the judges’ panel.

‘The Four: Battle for Stardom’ names judges Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, DJ Khaled, Meghan Trainor and Charlie Walk

November 17, 2017

The following is a press release from Fox:

Grammy® Award-winning musician, record producer and songwriter Sean “Diddy” Combs, record-producing hitmaker DJ Khaled, Grammy-winning recording artist and songwriter Meghan Trainor and record label executive Charlie Walk have joined the panel of experts on Fox’s new singing competition series, “The Four: Battle for Stardom.” The six-episode event premieres Thursday, January 4, 2018 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on Fox.

“This show is going to disrupt the world of competition television and will revolutionize the format,” said Combs. “It took the right show and network to bring me back in the game. We plan on being the best talent show out there, taking it to that next level and making history again. This series is about pure competition, fighting for your survival. Do you want to win? Do you want to be great? We’re giving fans a genuine look at what it takes to make it to the top and stay there – surrounding these up-and-coming artists with the best, turning them into the next generation of stars.”

“I’m proud to announce that I will be participating in one of the most important, if not the most important events on television and pop culture,” said DJ Khaled. “It’s a one-of-a-kind experience that will showcase the best of the new generation of musical geniuses. When you come from where I come from, you know just how hard it is to turn your dreams into a reality. It’s a long road to the journey of success. I’ve spent my career discovering amazing talent and working with the biggest icons from every corner of the globe and now I’m bringing my one-of-a-kind approach to Fox. I immediately jumped at the opportunity when I realized Fox shared the same vision as me, and that’s to be the best!!! If you think you have what it takes to become the next icon, trust me, DJ Khaled is the one that will let you know. So be prepared for a new era of television. All I know is how to win…more!!! Fox x DJ Khaled…be ready!!!”

“When Fox asked me to be a part of this new series, without hesitation, my answer was…YES!,” said Trainor. “I know firsthand what it’s like to be thrown into the music industry head first, as an artist and a songwriter. I also know what it takes to hang on for the ride. I’m so humbled to help discover new talent with this amazing panel of experts.”

“What lies at the heart of the music business is ‘talent,’” said Walk. “Discovering and developing talent remains the most important, consistent driver of my home, Republic Records, and now FOX’s “The Four: Battle for Stardom.” I’m thrilled to be joining this incredible panel of my longtime friends, Sean, Khaled and Meghan, to help make the difference on a platform that’s truly committed to identifying and breaking the next generation of superstars. We will guide them, advise them, and be with them every step of the way on their journey, starting on the most transparent stage in television.”

“Diddy, DJ Khaled, Meghan and Charlie are giants in the music space,” said Rob Wade, President, Alternative Entertainment and Specials, Fox Broadcasting Company. “They understand what an artist needs to break through – from killer music and style to innovative marketing and social media. This is a show like no other and we can’t wait to get started.”

“The Four: Battle for Stardom” begins where the other shows end: With the best. These four top-notch artists, spanning all music genres, will fight each week to defend their coveted seats on the show, as determined newcomers challenge them and try to knock them out of the competition. The singer who is the last standing at the end of the competition will earn the ultimate prize: the panel of industry experts becomes key players on the winner’s team. This elite group of starmakers will guide the winner’s career to help make him or her a breakout star. To audition for “The Four: Battle for Stardom,” please visit thefourmusic.com.

As part of the grand prize, the winner will be named an iHeartRadio “On The Verge” artist. iHeartRadio’s On The Verge program provides artists with unparalleled national reach through on-air radio exposure, as well as digital and social support across iHeartMedia’s powerful range of music and entertainment platforms. FOX also has teamed up with iHeartMedia to support auditions, assist in the search for talent and boost the careers of artists throughout the run of the competition.

Sean “Diddy” Combs, AKA Puff Daddy, started his career as the director of A&R at Uptown Records, where he was integral in launching the careers of Mary J. Blige and Jodeci. He later started his own label, Bad Boy Records, which has fostered talent that includes Mariah Carey, Method Man, Boyz II Men, Lil’ Kim and more. Combs’ solo music career began in 1997 with his first single, “Can’t Nobody Hold Me Down,” which shot to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, quickly followed by a No. 1 debut album that has gone Platinum seven times. Over the course of his career, he has earned three Grammy Awards and ASCAP’s Songwriter of the Year honor. Combs also has become an established actor and executive producer in both film and television. He starred in the 2008 telefilm “A Raisin in the Sun,” for which he won an NAACP Award for Best Actor; he was an executive producer and featured personality on the 2002 unscripted music series “Making the Band 2”; and he executive-produced the Academy Award-winning documentary “Undefeated” and the Academy Award-nominated “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.” Combs continues to apply the same drive and entrepreneurial spirit to his philanthropic work and political activism, most recently leading the response to the water crisis in Flint, MI, by pledging one million bottles of his AQUAhydrate water, along with long-term assistance to the area. He has supported organizations including the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), the Boys & Girls Club and others that create opportunities for young people. He also has served on the board of the Hip Hop Action Network and rallied millions of young people to register to vote during the 2008 election, through his Vote or Die project.

DJ Khaled is a major force in the music industry. He is a music producer, a 2017 Grammy Award-nominated recording artist and New York Times best-selling author. Known as the “Anthem King” and commonly referred to as the “Quincy Jones of Hip Hop & R&B,” Khaled has made dozens of chart-topping hit records, featuring JAY Z, Kanye West, Drake, Chris Brown, Ludacris, T.I., French Montana, Future, Big Sean, Rick Ross, John Legend, Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne, among others. In the past 12 months, he has captivated millions of fans globally by the use of social media and has been coined the “King of Snapchat.” In 2006, he launched innovative label deals and started We The Best Music Group. His 2010 hit song, “All I Do is Win,” went 3x Platinum, sold more than three million singles and crossed over all music genres to become a mainstream hit, solidifying him as a force to be reckoned with. That same year he also released “I’m On One,” feat. Drake, Rick Ross and Lil Wayne. Khaled went on to release the hit single “No New Friends,” featuring Drake, Lil Wayne and Rick Ross, which reached gold status and has sold more than 500,000 singles worldwide. He has sold more than 15 million singles in his career. Khaled also is committed to pro-social initiatives and is the first social media ambassador of Bono’s Project Red, as well as the national spokesperson for Get Schooled.

Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Meghan Trainor is one of pop’s most reliable hit-makers, known for her powerhouse voice, indelible melodies and relatable lyrics that encourage self-acceptance and empowerment. Since her 9x-Platinum breakthrough single, “All About That Bass,” in 2014, the 23-year-old Massachusetts native has charted seven multi-Platinum singles, released two critically acclaimed studio albums – 2015’s “Title” and 2016’s “Thank You” – sold out three headline tours, written multi-Platinum hits for top pop and country artists, including Jennifer Lopez, Fifth Harmony and Rascal Flatts, and received countless industry awards and nominations worldwide. Trainor is currently in the studio finishing up her highly anticipated third studio album.

Charlie Walk, President of The Republic Group, continues to redefine the role of a record executive in a rapidly changing business. In addition to overseeing and integrating the company’s marketing, promotion and media departments, Walk also actively seeks, signs and develops new talent. He’s driven over 50 Billboard No. 1 hits. His vision and hands-on guidance have been crucial to the rise of new, generation-defining superstars The Weeknd, Lorde and Ariana Grande. He also spearheads promotion partnerships for Big Machine Label Group (Taylor Swift), Cash Money Records (Drake, Nicki Minaj) and Island Records (Shawn Mendes, Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas). He personally signed Hailee Steinfeld and co-created Joe Jonas’ new band, DNCE, to multi-Platinum status. Walk also encouraged powerhouse songwriter Julia Michaels to make the leap to becoming an artist and – after signing her to Republic – has helped her to become the biggest breakout star of 2017, with over six million singles sold to date. Before joining Republic Records as Executive Vice President in 2013, Walk spent more than 15 years at Columbia Records, fostering the careers of Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé, John Mayer, New Kids on the Block, The Fugees and John Legend, to name a few. At the end of 2005, he transitioned to President of Epic Records, where he steered the release of Shakira’s triple-Platinum-selling “Hips Don’t Lie,” which remains the ninth-most-downloaded song in music history. During his time at the label, Walk also helped break Sean Kingston, The Fray and Sara Bareilles. A longtime philanthropist and cultural leader, Walk serves on the board of Phoenix House, a nonprofit drug and alcohol rehabilitation organization; City of Hope, a cancer research and treatment center; and the Board of Councilors of the University of Southern California’s Iovine and Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation.

“The Four: Battle for Stardom” was created by Armoza Formats and is produced by ITV Entertainment in association with Armoza Formats. David George, Adam Sher, David Eilenberg, Becca Walker, David Friedman, Avi Armoza, Moshiko Cohen and Elwin Viztelly de Groot are executive producers. Additionally, Sean “Diddy” Combs will serve as a producer on the series. “Like” THE FOUR: BATTLE FOR STARDOM on Facebook at facebook.com/TheFourOnFox. Follow the series on Twitter @TheFourOnFox and join the conversation using #TheFour. Check out photos and videos on Instagram @TheFourOnFox.

ABOUT ITV ENTERTAINMENT

ITV Entertainment, part of the ITV America group, is one of the largest international producers for the U.S. market and a major force in acquiring, developing and producing entertainment programming for U.S. networks. ITV Entertainment has a wide slate of series with major networks and syndicators, including HELL’S KITCHEN (FOX); “The First 48” (A&E); “The Job Interview” (CNBC); “Four Weddings” (TLC); “Big Star Little Star” (USA); “Help My Yelp” (Food); and the new “Queer Eye” (Netflix), as well as upcoming series and specials for Nickelodeon and A&E, among others.

ABOUT ARMOZA FORMATS

Established in 2005, Armoza Formats has become a key player in the international content market, rapidly growing to be one of the top independent creators and distributors of global content. Taking the best of Israeli and international creative talent, Armoza Formats spearheads the emergence of compelling content in today’s dynamic market. Our mission is to meet the challenges of the fast-changing media industry with creative broadcast solutions. With over 90 formats in our catalogue and productions across the globe, Armoza Formats has a proven track record of success across all genres – from spectacular primetime entertainment show “I Can Do That!,” now licensed in over 20 countries, to hit game show “Still Standing,” with 5,000 episodes globally, and docu-reality format “Connected,” on air in over 10 territories. Our partners are comprised of broadcasters and production companies across the globe, including FOX, NBC USA, BBC, ITV, Channel 4 UK, TVA Canada, TF1 France, RTL Germany, HBO, TV2 Norway, RAI Italy, Globo Brazil, Azteca Mexico and ZEE TV India.

ABOUT IHEARTMEDIA

With over a quarter of a billion monthly listeners in the U.S. and over 122 million social followers, iHeartMedia has the largest national reach of any radio or television outlet in America. As the leader in multiplatform connections, it also serves over 150 local markets through 858 owned radio stations, and the company’s radio stations and content can be heard on AM/FM, HD digital radio, satellite radio, on the Internet at iHeartRadio.com and on the company’s radio station websites, on the iHeartRadio mobile app, in enhanced auto dashes, on tablets, wearables and smartphones, and on gaming consoles. iHeartRadio, iHeartMedia’s digital radio platform, is the fastest growing digital audio service in the U.S. and offers users thousands of live radio stations, personalized custom artist stations created by just one song or seed artist and the top podcasts and personalities. With over 1.4 billion downloads, iHeartRadio reached 100 million registered users faster than any other radio or digital music service. iHeartMedia’s platforms include radio broadcasting, online, mobile, digital and social media, podcasts, personalities and influencers, live concerts and events, syndication, music research services and independent media representation. iHeartMedia is a division of iHeartMedia, Inc. (PINK: IHRT). Visit iHeartMedia.com for more company information.

November 27, 2017 UPDATE: Fergie has been named host of “The Four.” According to several published reports, the former Black Eyed Peas singer had been one of the final candidates to be a judge on the show, but Meghan Trainor was chosen instead.

Luke Bryan, Lionel Richie join ‘American Idol’ as judges

September 29, 2017

Luke Bryan (Photo by Michele Crowe/CBS)

Lionel Richie (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC)

The following is a press release from ABC:

Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie have signed on as judges for the beloved music competition series “American Idol” for its first season on ABC. They round out the panel of judges, alongside judge Katy Perry. Ryan Seacrest will return to host the series. The panel will make their debut appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Wednesday, October 4.

“I’m excited at the chance to help some deserving artists reach their dreams,” said Bryan. “To be in a position in my career to help facilitate this along with the other judges is just a complete honor. It’s gonna be a blast!”

“I am very excited to be joining Katy, Luke and Ryan on ‘American Idol,’” said Richie. “As a singer, songwriter and producer, I feel I can bring a great deal of experience to the table. It’s going to be so much fun!”

“Luke and Lionel are the perfect additions to round out our panel of judges for ‘American Idol’ on ABC,” said Channing Dungey, president, ABC Entertainment. “In their respective genres of music, both Luke and Lionel possess insurmountable popularity and award-winning talent that are undeniable, and we are lucky that they will help in paving the way for hopefuls pursuing their dreams on our stage.”

Trish Kinane, president of Entertainment Programming, FremantleMedia North America, executive producer and showrunner of “American Idol,” said, “We have taken our time to get the right mix of amazing talent for the new Idol judging panel. Our viewers expect musical credibility, passion and a true concern for the contestants; and with Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie joining the brilliant Katy Perry, we have two more world-class musical powerhouses eager to get to work and identify the next generation of superstars.”

Peter Hurwitz, CEO and president of 19 Entertainment-parent Core Media Group, said, “This extraordinary panel of judges speaks volumes about the continued power of the iconic ‘American Idol’ brand. We are thrilled to have Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan join Katy Perry and, ultimately, millions of viewers as we begin this new era on ABC.”

Yesterday, Bryan kicked off his ninth annual Farm Tour performing in six cities through October 7. Since the tour’s inception in 2009, Bryan has awarded 50 scholarships to a local student from a farming family within the communities the tour has played. Bryan will also continue his Huntin’, Fishin’ and Lovin’ Every Day Tour through October.

Bryan is a two-time Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year, a five-time host of the ACM Awards and the 2017 Super Bowl LI national anthem performer. Luke has placed 18 singles at No.1, sold over 10 million albums and more than 40 million tracks with three billion music streams, and has performed for millions of fans on tour. He recently debuted a new single, “Light It Up,” which is the first song off a new album due out later this year.

Singer-songwriter, record producer and international superstar Lionel Richie has a discography of albums and singles that are second to none. His music is part of the fabric of pop music; in fact, Richie is one of only two songwriters in history to achieve the honor of having No. 1 records for nine consecutive years. With more than 100 million albums sold worldwide, an Oscar®, a Golden Globe®, four Grammy Awards®, the distinction of MusicCares person of the year in 2016, and Kennedy Center Honoree in 2017, the Tuskegee, Alabama, native is a true music icon.

Richie is known for his mega-hits such as “Endless Love,” “Lady,” “Truly,” “All Night Long,” “Penny Lover,” “Stuck on You,” “Hello,” “Say You, Say Me,” “Dancing on the Ceiling,” and one of the most important pop songs in history, “We Are the World,” written with Michael Jackson for USA for Africa. His song catalog also includes his early work with The Commodores, where he developed a groundbreaking style that defied genre categories, penning smashes such as “Three Times a Lady,” “Still” and “Easy.”

Richie launched his Las Vegas headlining residency show, Lionel Richie – All the Hits, at The AXIS at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in April 2016. In an unforgettable evening featuring his brightest and best anthems which have defined the music icon’s unparalleled career, Richie takes his fans on a spectacular musical journey, performing a variety of his seminal hits. With his most recent All the Hits, All Night Long Tour, Richie sold out arenas worldwide with a set list of his brightest and best anthems. In recent years, he also headlined festivals including Bonnaroo, Outside Lands and Glastonbury, drawing the festival’s biggest crowd ever with more than 200,000 attendees.

When “American Idol” debuted in the U.S., the series revolutionized television, pioneering the reality-competition genre and holding an unmatched record for being the highest-rated series for nearly a decade. The series also ushered in second-screen audience participation, being the first to introduce text-based and mobile voting. The “Idol” format has taken on original versions in 55 countries around the world, and “American Idol” itself has played to a worldwide audience of over 460 million across 53 countries. At its new home on ABC, “American Idol” will continue to be a force in the television landscape, reaching every corner of the country in its search for the next great music sensation.

“American Idol” is produced by FremantleMedia North America and 19 Entertainment, a division of CORE Media Group. Executive producers include FremantleMedia North America’s Trish Kinane and Jennifer Mullin along with co-executive producer, Megan Wolflick. FremantleMedia International distributes the series worldwide.

Tyra Banks tapped to host ‘America’s Got Talent’ and returns as host of ‘America’s Top Model’

March 16, 2017

by Carla Hay

Tyra Banks
Tyra Banks (Photo courtesy of VH1)

Supermodel/producer/entrepreneur Tyra Banks has been named the new host of the talent contest “America’s Got Talent.” In addition, Banks is returning as host of “America’s Top Model,” the reality show modeling contest that she launched in 2003. Season 12 of “AGT” (which airs in the U.S. on NBC) begins filming in March 2017, while Cycle 24 of “ANTM” (which airs in the U.S. on VH1) begins filming in the summer of 2017.

Banks was a host and a judge on “ANTM” from 2003 to 2015, when it was cancelled by The CW. She remained an executive producer of the show when it was revived in 2016 on VH1 with host Rita Ora and judges Ashley Graham, Drew Elliott and Law Roach. Although Banks did not host “ANTM” that season, she made guest appearances on the show. The judges for Cycle 24 of “ANTM” are to be announced.

Banks commented about returning to host “ANTM” in a statement: “I’m overwhelmed and humbled by the intensity of the ‘ANTM’ fan base whose deep affection for the show led me to have a change of heart. After giving it a lot of thought, I realized that remaining behind the camera wasn’t enough because ‘ANTM’ is woven into my DNA.”

In a separate statement, Banks commented on her “AGT” hosting gig: “Since I was a little girl, I’ve been obsessed with grandiose acts and performers who make the seemingly impossible possible. I love how ‘AGT’ brings that feeling into everyone’s home, capturing the best of people who come out and give it their all to make those big, fierce and outrageous dreams come true. I look forward to connecting with the dreamers, having fun and giving hugs and words of encouragement when needed. And maybe I’ll get one or two performers to smize for the audience!”

On “AGT,” Banks replaces Nick Cannon, who hosted the show from 2009 to 2016. Cannon quit “AGT” in February 2017. He made the announcement on February 13, 2017, in a lengthy post on his Facebook page, claiming that he was”threatened with termination by executives ” after he made a racial joke on his Showtime stand-up comedy special “Nick Cannon: Stand Up, Don’t Shoot,” which premiered on February 10, 2017.

Cannon said in his Facebook announcement: “There is no amount of money worth my dignity or my integrity. I have loved hosting ‘America’s Got Talent’ for the last 8 seasons, watching talented, brave, and courageous Americans accomplish their dreams in front of millions has been nothing but a joy, and everyone has been a pleasure to work with but my soul won’t allow me to be in business with corporations that attempt to frown on freedom of speech, censor artists, and question cultural choices.

“Not to get too detailed but this isn’t the first time executives have attempted to ‘put me in my place’  for so called unruly actions. I will not stand for it. My moral principles will easily walk away from the millions of dollars they hang over my head. It’s never been about the money for me, what is difficult to walk away from is the fans, the people who love me on the show.”

In early March 2017, Marlon Wayans confirmed reports that he was being considered as a replacement for Cannon, but Wayans (who is known for his profanity-laced, adult humor) told the media that he didn’t think he would be right for the job, since “America’s Got Talent” is a family viewing show. Tone Bell and Mychal Smith were also named in media reports as being possible candidates to host “AGT.”

On March 14, 2017, Banks posted a photo on her Twitter account  of a bouquet of flowers with the accompanying note: “Tyra, congratulations and good luck on AGT! Love, Nick C.” Banks posted her reaction to the kind gesture by saying it “made me smile.”

Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Mel B and Howie Mandel have returned as judges on “AGT.” Cowell (who is also an executive producer of the show) has signed  on to be a judge on “AGT” through 2019.

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