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[02/02/06 - 12:00 AM]
NBC Tunes in Online with "Startomorrow"

[via press release from NBC]

NBC TUNES IN ONLINE WITH "STARTOMORROW"

NBC TUNES IN ONLINE WITH 'STARTOMORROW;' NEW DIGITAL COMPETITIVE SERIES LAUNCHES ONLINE AND PUTS VIEWERS IN CONTROL

Breakthrough Program Lets Viewers Program Their Own Show

BURBANK, CA � February 2, 2006 � Marking the first time that the network has offered a full national series online, NBC will introduce "StarTomorrow," an interactive music competition that will put viewers exclusively in control of choosing the first Internet superstar band or singing group � and will reward the winners with a recording deal with legendary music executive Tommy Mottola.

The announcement was made today by Jeff Gaspin, President, NBC Universal Cable Entertainment, Digital Content and Cross-Network Strategy.

"'StarTomorrow' is an important project for us. 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."

The series will be produced by The Mottola Company, 25/7 Productions and 3 Ball Productions. Dave Broome (NBC's "The Biggest Loser," "Tsunami Aid: A Concert of Hope"), JD Roth ("The Biggest Loser," "For Love or Money"), Todd Nelson ("The Biggest Loser," "For Love or Money") John Foy ("The Biggest Loser," "For Love or Money"), Tommy Mottola and Jeb Brien (The Mottola Co.) are the executive producers.

"StarTomorrow" is expected to debut this summer on NBC.com with a nationwide search that will ultimately narrow the field down to approximately 100 of America's best groups and bands that have been screened for entry into the competition. Approximately twenty band auditions will be released each week for the first half of the sixteen week series. Viewers will then evaluate them and will have a week to vote on which groups and bands will move on to the next round. The finalists will then compete in the second half of the series. The format will include covers of pop favorites and original material, but as the series goes deeper into the competition, the focus will shift more to original songs.

Forgoing a dedicated home studio, "StarTomorrow" will take its act on the road to reach out to performers on four regional locations across the country (sites will be announced later).

Additional exclusive online features will include the ability for viewers to see critical insight and advice from the influential record executive Mottola, as well as offer other opinions of the contestants from guest celebrities. Also, audiences will be able to stream the past series performances of each band while also viewing produced packages that personalize each group or band with footage from rehearsals, interviews and background information in a video blog-like style.

When the winning group or band emerges, its members will secure a record deal with Mottola's Casablanca label (a division of the Universal Music Group) who will also offer career guidance.

Mottola most recently served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sony Music Entertainment, which he transformed into one of the most successful global music companies. During his lengthy career, he has developed and nurtured many of the industry's top musical icons, including Celine Dion, Destiny's Child, Barbra Streisand, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, Marc Anthony, Mariah Carey and the Dixie Chicks, among others. Currently, The Mottola Co. is heavily involved in a new television production company, The Casablanca record label, theater and live entertainment projects, namely Pink Floyd's "The Wall" and fashion licensing and branding businesses.

Said executive producer Dave Broome: "Pioneering original content like 'StarTomorrow' in the digital realm for NBC is very exciting. I couldn't ask for better partners in this project and know it's just the beginning of what's to come on alternative platforms."

"I'm really excited to be the first to utilize the digital platform as a launching pad for new talent," said Executive Producer Tommy Mottola. "It will be an exciting adventure to find stars of the future, and unlike others before us we are not limited to solo performers. We will look at rock and pop bands, duos, R&B and hip hop groups, among others."

"There's no one better than Tommy to bring the excitement of music competition to the next level," stated Doug Morris, Chairman & CEO of Universal Music Group. "And judging from the early buzz about the show, this may indeed become the ultimate insider, transforming how people view these types of programs and of course, creating new musical careers."

Audition videos, DVDs and other applications can now be sent to StarTomorrow, 10061 Riverside Drive, Toluca Lake, California, 91602





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· BIGGEST LOSER, THE (NBC)
· FOR LOVE OR MONEY (NBC)





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