[05/04/05 - 12:00 AM]
Rock Out with the N This Summer!

[via press release from The N]

Rock Out With The N This Summer!

'Instant Star,' the Sizzling New Teen Drama from the Creators of Degrassi, Premieres

Friday, July 1, 9:00 - 10:00 PM (ET)

Real Life Singer/Songwriter Alexz Johnson To Star In New Half-Hour Series Featuring Original Music, Teen Angst, Love Triangles And Family Drama

*(Color art and tapes available upon request)

NEW YORK, May 4 -- Instant Star heats up the small screen as The N, the nighttime network for teens, presents the new dramatic series that features weekly tales of teen angst, love triangles, family struggles and hot new original music. From the creators of The N's hit series Degrassi: The Next Generation, the 13-episode half-hour series will debut with a special hour-long premiere of two back-to-back episodes on Friday, July 1, from 9:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. (ET).

Instant Star depicts the life of 15-year-old Jude Harrison (ALEXZ JOHNSON), a singer/songwriter who is propelled to superstardom after she wins a national American Idol-style talent competition. Jude Harrison is played by real life singer/songwriter/actress Alexz Johnson, who has written and recorded several of the original songs featured in the series. Each episode of Instant Star will feature a new song performed by Johnson.

Instant Star is created by Linda Schuyler, co-creator of The N's Degrassi: The Next Generation and is executive produced by Schuyler and her partner Stephen Stohn of Epitome Pictures. Instant Star will air regularly Friday nights from 8:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (ET), following its lead-in, Degrassi (8:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., ET).

"Instant Star is a perfect complement to Degrassi: The Next Generation," said Sarah Tomassi Lindman, Vice President, Programming and Production, The N. "We're certain that this new original series will have broad appeal with its compelling storylines, great music, and relevant teen and family drama that our viewers have come to expect."

"This is the drama for anyone who's dreamt of living their dream," said Schuyler.

Instant Star begins as Jude Harrison, an emerging young artist, becomes an overnight success after winning the biggest national singer/songwriter contest in the country. Jude's new recording contract, soon-to-be-released single and newfound fame, promise to transform her life forever. She's wading through a world bigger than her wildest rock n' roll dreams -- parties and publicity, groupies and paparazzi, managers, producers, release dates, and concerts. Jude is desperate to prove she belongs. Any way you slice it, normal teenage life is complicated enough without having to worry about where your single charted last week or what the tabloids are saying about you and your hottie record producer. And when your parents are fighting over your tour dates, your ex-boyfriend begins dating your best friend, and your record company is threatening to fold if you don't produce a hit, getting famous almost seems like the easy part.

Jude's complex relationships are at the heart of each episode. Those helping her along the journey to stardom include: her hot young producer and former boy-band heartthrob Tom Quincy, aka Lil' Tommy Q (TIM ROZON), boy-next- door best friend Jamie Andrews (KRISTOPHER TURNER), Jude's older jealous sister Sadie (LAURA VANDERVOORT), her uncensored friend Kat Benton (BARBARA MAMABOLO), and her parents Victoria (JANE SOWERBY) and Stuart (SIMON REYNOLDS), who have issues of their own to work out. Jude is also flanked by EJ Li (ANDREA LUI), the sharp head of marketing and publicity for the record company, G Major, and cutthroat record executive Georgia Bevans (TRACY WATERHOUSE).

In the hour-long premiere of Instant Star, entitled "Even Better Than The Real Thing," punk underdog Jude Harrison shocks everyone by winning the first Instant Star songwriting contest and lands a prestigious record contract and a life that will never again be "normal." Will she resist the record company's attempts to change her, or realize that she's capable of making music that blows even her own mind? But when Jude loses the cover of a major music magazine to Eden, the snotty push-up-bra'd runner-up, her producer Tommy steps in. He takes Jude and her resentful older sister Sadie to a wild hip-hop party being thrown by the magazine's publisher -- someone with whom Tommy has a complicated history. Jude tries to "play the game" and one-up Eden with disastrous results. Ultimately, it's Jude's connection with someone unexpected that saves the day.

The multi-talented Johnson had her performance debut at a very young age, competing in talent contests and festivals, before winning the National Anthem Contest and being named "Best Anthem Singer" by the Vancouver Sun. As a result, Alexz found herself frequently singing the National Anthem at NHL and NBA games. The Vancouverite has a four-octave range and eight years of operatic training. The sixth of 10 children, Alexz was the sole entertainer at Vancouver's New Year's Eve festivities at Planet Hollywood at the age of 12. Her acting credits have since included the lead in Disney's So Weird, a principal role on the hit series The Chris Isaak Show as well as appearances on CTV's Cold Squad and the upcoming MOWSelling Innocence. Alexz is featured as a singer and dancer in the upcoming Showtime musical, Reefer Madness, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. The musical is adapted from the off- Broadway musical, which was inspired by the 1930's propaganda film.

Instant Star is produced in association with CTV by Toronto-based Epitome Pictures, producers of Degrassi: The Next Generation. The series was created by Linda Schuyler, co-creator of the original Degrassi series. Schuyler and Stephen Stohn serve as Executive Producers.

The N, the nighttime network for teens, is a programming arm of MTV Networks and is currently available in 43 million households via cable, digital cable and satellite television. The N's mission is to be the authentic voice for teens and help them figure out their lives with relevant, topical programming on-air and online at the network's web site http://www.the-n.com. The N airs everyday from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. (ET). The N and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom International Inc.

Web Site: http://www.the-n.com

  [may 2005]  

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