America's Next Producer

2007, TV Show


Judges' Diary: Episode 3

The motto of this week's episode: Comedy is hard, but watching people make comedy can be even harder. Or not, depending.I can feel this round is going to be different when I arrive at the stage, three days after the last elimination (the longest time between challenges yet), and find a laptop on a table in the judges' green room. David Hill and I meet our guest judge, Regency Television's classy president Robin Schwartz (whose company produced such comedy hits as Malcolm in the Middle and The Bernie Mac Show), and we're instructed to play a DVD with video performances of two very different stand-up acts. (We see what the contestants saw on their field trip to the M Bar comedy club.)Major kudos, by the way, to Robin Schwartz for taking time away from one of the most intense periods of any TV year — the week before the network upfronts and schedule announcements in May — to help us out. In between camera set-ups, she's checking her Blackberry and returning calls, because she... 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

Inside TV Guide's Search for America's Next Producer!

America's Next Producer

Get ready for a small-screen smackdown. The 10 contestants on TV Guide Network's new reality series, America's Next Producer (premiering tonight at 8 pm/ET), display attitudes ranging from boastful to breathless. But they all want to get ahead in Hollywood, and they're not afraid to mix it up. The 10-episode series — the net's biggest original production yet — will search for the next Jerry Bruckheimer or Dick Wolf. But viewers who think a producer is the fat cat behind a desk writing checks will learn that that image is far from reality. "In the past, producers delegated a lot," says Last Call host Carson Daly, who delivers the read more

Judge's Diary: When Reality Worlds Collide

Matt Roush, David Hill and Ananda Lewis courtesy TV Guide Network

As a professional TV critic, I’ve been judging reality shows for years, especially since Survivor first exploded on the scene seven summers ago. But becoming a judge on a reality show? Didn’t see that one coming. Here’s how it happened: This spring I was invited to participate in a new series being produced by the Magical Elves company (Project Runway, Top Chef) for the newly rechristened TV Guide Network. America’s Next Producer would be designed on the classic model of Runway and Chef, subjecting an eclectic group of contestants to a fast-paced series of grueling challenges to test their mettle in the competitive field of TV production. My initial reaction: reluctance. “I’m a TV critic, and now I’m playing one on TV?” How surreal. But figuring that TV Guide was more or less going to be a character in this show, it seemed an appropriate fit to be the magazine’s representative. Why not? It’s certainly a new experience. So off I fly ... read more

To be fair, you should know ...

Question: To be fair, you should know that I am cynical of reality shows. While not arguably original (it comes close to plagiarizing HBO's Project Greenlight), I was intrigued by On the Lot, since it could offer the minority of us who embrace independent films a chance to see gifted aspiring directors who can "think outside the box." My complaints are not with the candidates but about the host, Adrianna Costa, who seems to be Ryan Seacrest with some anatomical differences. Her approach to telling the contestants who will be eliminated is eerily similar to Seacrest's. Next and probably even more alarming are the results of the voting. My consternation is not because my selections did not completely concur with them, but because none of the eliminated filmmakers were American. I don't want to believe that that is a result of xenophobia, but the result of not having a "constituent base" in the U.S. What do you think? Answer: Politics aside, I wasn't surprised by two of the three who were ... 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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Premiered: July 25, 2007
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Premise: TV and video producers compete to see who possesses the skills to create a hit show. Contestants take a concept through the development process, while attempting to avoid elimination. The winner receives $100,000 and a TV Guide Network deal.


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