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February 7, 2006

Big opportunity for singing groups.

NBC has announced plans to launch a Web-only music competition series, StarTomorrow, on NBC.com this summer. StarTomorrow will be an American Idol-style show that allows viewers to vote for bands or singing groups based on a series of performances. The winner of the competition will receive a record deal with former Sony Music Entertainment chairman Tommy Mottola, whose company is producing the series.

NBC plans a nationwide search for musical talent prior to the show's launch, ultimately to nail down a list of 100 performers or groups to appear on the 16-week series. Fans logging onto NBC.com will be able to sift through roughly 20 audition tapes each week before voting on who should stay or go. Interesting for a cappella groups is that the show's website says "The nationwide search will ultimately narrow the field down to approximately 100 of America's best groups (singers with no instruments) and bands that have been screened for entry into the competition. "

Besides the musical auditions, viewers will be privy to the performers' interaction with Mottola as well as several unnamed guest celebrities.

While cable networks like Comedy Central have been aggressive in rolling out several original online-only series, StarTomorrow marks one of the first examples of a major broadcast network launching an original series exclusively on the Internet.

"StarTomorrow is an important project for us," said Jeff Gaspin, president, NBC Universal Cable Entertainment, Digital Content and Cross-Network Strategy. "This is the first time NBC will be distributing a network-quality program exclusively online," said Gaspin. "We want to give consumers a new viewing experience and digital content enables us to give more scheduling and programming latitude to them, truly allowing viewers to create their own show."

NBC has lined up production talent from several of its recent reality hits to oversee StarTomorrow. Dave Broome of The Biggest Loser and JD Roth and Todd Nelson of both Loser and For Love or Money will serve as the new show's executive producers. More information here.

Posted by acapnews at February 7, 2006 12:17 AM