Ananda Lewis

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Episode #6

Is it just me, or can you close your eyes and imagine these producers are 5,6 and 7 years old too? Danggit! At what point do we EVER get to leave our childhood issues in the past? And I’m not removing myself from that statement. There are plenty of things I could point to in my own behavior that are left over from what I did or didn’t get from my parents (especially my Dad) as a child. In intimate relationships, I am very needy and girlish…because I hate that in me, I check it whenever I recognize it by looking at the origins of it and reminding myself that I am now a grown woman and this man in front of me is NOT my Father and cannot be expected to fill in the blanks that he left. While I could go on and on about my baggage, the point here isn’t a free psychotherapy session for me, but only to highlight the antics that are taking place in the interactions of these producers. They take everything waaaayyy too personally when it is not about them at all! T... read more

Episode #5

Who knew a 30 second PSA could be so involved??? Whew! This challenge was right on time with the global issues awareness aspect and overall I thought they all did very well. As the field of competitors narrows, everyone seems to be sharpening every skill they have…including the ‘get along skill’. And when I saw Evie hug Schliz when he got eliminated, I knew there was a chance for peace in the middle east. I had reservations about letting Schliz go. I think he’s very talented, I like his personality, and we’re judging producers not cameramen. But the points the judging panel made were valid and his shots were overexposed. It’s also a reminder that today’s producers need to be multi-taskers of a new breed. Those that can shoot, do audio, do voice-overs, get on camera if need be, edit, direct, heck DO IT ALL!! And that’s what we’re looking for .So, needless to say, I REALLY love this show America’s Next Producer! I’ve be... read more

Episode #4

What is it about children’s television shows that make everyone who watches them immediately revert to 6 year old? Hahahaha.. It was so cute to see all of the producers’ faces light up when they saw the set and realized what the challenge was. “Hip Hop Harry” is one of the best kid shows out there, but dare I say that Shelby the Sea Turtle could give him a run for his money…ok, maybe not, but I would buy it for my kids right now…that is, if I had kids…but that’s soooo 2 episodes ago.2 things: I wanna pinch Claude Brooks’ cheeks and Gelila Asres is one of the most beautiful and savvy women on the PLANET!! Ya’ll better WORK!!! I am really happy with how well this challenge went. Everyone stepped up and acted like they know what they’re doing! Jessica has GREAT ideas…she’s the concept woman. Zo’s really strong musical talent showed up. Evie is really, really good at brainstorming and progressing a thought in... read more

ANP Judge’s Diary Blog: Episode # 4

The first thing I hear from one of the staff as I arrive at the stage on a Friday afternoon in May (exactly one week after the first elimination panel): “They behaved themselves in front of the children.”Well, that’s a relief. After the first few judging panels, in which many of the contestants acted like petulant children, sniping and fighting among each other like schoolyard brats, a little civility would be welcome. (Although as it turns out, taking too high a road would turn out to be one contestant’s downfall.)I get a sense today isn’t an ordinary one when I’m told the kids are upstairs “in school,” and they’re not talking about the wannabe producers for once. They’re talking actual kids, child performers, who took part in executing the latest challenge. (I don’t get to meet them, but that’s not a surprise, as the show’s producers tend to keep us away from the actual process.)As we get ready for the taping of the ... read more

Episode 3

It's odd how I am growing to like elimination. In our society, most of us are raised to believe that we are supposed to be nice to everyone, be liked by everyone, not to judge — someone may not like us if we have an opinion that disagrees with their own. Remember being on the playground and the threat of someone "not being your friend" having such weight? It feels like kind of the same thing as an adult, that pressure not to express one's dislike of a thing... or a person. To that end, sitting in judgment of the work of these producers every week has been liberating for me — on the other hand, I'm still feeling a bit of guilt for dashing the dreams of another human being simply based on the taste of a few. Tonight's elimination brought me more guilt than pleasure. This challenge was the most intricate yet, involving a full crew, actors, sets, and still very little post-production time to put it all together. Scripted comedy, as has been said many times, is possibly the har... read more

Judges' Diary: Episode 2

To quote myself, as I’ve been known to do: “Reality television creates celebrities out of almost anyone.” That line, spoken during the judging panel, pretty much sums up the theme of this episode.It also applies to this week’s guest judge, Chris Moore, who became famous as the no-holds-barred taskmaster of HBO’s pioneering docu-reality series Project Greenlight. Chris is a larger-than-life personality, as anyone knows who's watched Greenlight. He’s funny and bawdy, yet as I get to know him during the long course of a shoot on a balmy Sunday night, he still seems genuinely surprised that he became a recognizable TV personality by being on a reality show.He’s the perfect choice to guide us through this challenge, which took on an unexpectedly wacky dimension when one of the guest celebs “backed out” — as in threw out his back. As we arrive at the stage, we’re told of the unusual circumstances: Lorenzo Lamas had dropped out at the ... read more

Episode 2

I knew I loved this show! For anyone who has ever wondered how TV gets made and what goes on behind the scenes, let me tell you: This stuff is the real deal! I can’t count how many arguments I have witnessed behind the scenes, when the cameras are off, when there’s no studio audience around. Heck I’ve been involved in many of them… started some of them.The fact is that television is just like any other industry that puts different personalities together who then have to reach a goal. You probably have a lot of disagreements and fights at your job, too, but the difference is you have a boss and these nine producers are the bosses! So tonight, they had to create a reality series around a celebrity. It happens every day but, as you can see for yourself, is not as easy as it looks. Can you imagine how many ideas are thrown around in this town daily that never see the light of day? Oh! The egos!! To be honest, I had no idea while we shot these shows that so much went ... read more

Judge's Diary: Episode 1

Being on the inside of a reality-competition show, as a judge for TV Guide Network’s America’s Next Producer, has one major disadvantage: As it’s happening, I’m only seeing half the show. When watching at home and seeing what went into the execution of each of these challenges, you may well come up with a different decision some weeks on who should stay and who should go. We on the judges’ panel only are able to see the final result and have to use that, as well as whatever info we glean from the Q&A on the stage, to make the tough call on who to send home.First elimination taping, and it’s a warm Friday afternoon in early May. The judges convene in a spartan green room. The regulars are myself and David Hill, the wonderfully outspoken CEO of Fox Sports. The guest judge is David Friedman, the boyish executive producer of NBC’s Last Call with Carson Daly. (The name seems familiar, and I soon discover his father is renowned news executive Paul Fr... read more

Episode No. 1

Whew! First elimination down! Sending someone home is, honestly, the worst part for me. I will say that I am so relieved to have such a talented and creative group of contestants on this show! You know, you never can tell what you might get when it comes to reality TV, and you know what I'm talking about. But we have 10 (well, now nine) smart, creative, fun people! Yay!!And still, as I’m sure you noticed, the drama has already begun. David H., Matt [Roush], David F. and I were downstairs deliberating and all of the sudden we heard "BOOM! CRASH!" upstairs, like there was a real fight going on. Then we find out: there was! Well, a verbal one, anyway, but it felt like it could've come to blows for a minute there. In case you didn’t see it, Gwen said to Sharon, "Shut the f--k up," which set Sharon off! Some people may not have gotten upset at this, but everyone is not the same. What's always been crazy to me is that we’re a nation made up of all these wonderfully d... read more

America's Next Producer Contestants Announced!

America's Next Producer by Roger Erickson for TV Guide Network

Ten producer hopefuls will battle it out this summer on TV Guide Network's new reality show America's Next Producer hosted by Ananda Lewis (The Ananda Lewis Show). The prize is $100,000 cash, a deal with TV Guide Network and a Hollywood production office.The contestants must create compelling TV concepts in different genres each week for judges David Hill (Chairman & CEO, FOX Sports Television Group) and Matt Roush (Senior Television Critic, TV Guide magazine). The competition starts full screen on TV Guide Network Wednesday, July 18 at 8pm/7c.From thousands of entries, here are the 10 who made the cut:• Bradley Gallo (The Problem Solver): 29, Long Island, NY — This self-proclaimed "problem solver that talks too much" is a freelance producer based out of New York City and thinks he has this competition in the bag. He holds a directing certificate from New York University.• Daniel Hosea (The News): 33, New York City — Hosea's a CNN writer and producer hoping ... read more

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