[04/19/07 - 02:10 PM]
NBC Announces David Hasselhoff, Piers Morgan and Sharon Osbourne as Trio of Judges for Second Season of NBC's Hit Talent Competition Series 'America's Got Talent' Premiering May 29
Jerry Springer will be the new host of the series as previously announced.

[via press release from NBC]



Series to Also Include Jerry Springer as New Host of Wide-open Talent Circus

BURBANK -- April 19, 2007 -- NBC announced today Sharon Osbourne will join David Hasselhoff and Piers Morgan to judge the second season of the hit talent competition series "America's Got Talent" when it returns with a two-hour premiere on Tuesday, May 29 (9-11 p.m. ET). As previously announced, Jerry Springer will be the new host of the series, which was last summer's top-rated new show.

The announcement was made by Craig Plestis, Executive Vice President, Alternative Programming, Development and Specials, NBC Entertainment.

"Sharon Osbourne is show business personified and she has seen and done it all," said Plestis. "She will make an excellent fit with David and Piers, who we're delighted to have back for another great season."

"We're very excited about our new ensemble of judges and host this season," said Cecile Frot-Coutaz, CEO of FremantleMedia North America, executive producer of "America's Got Talent." "I'm certain this extraordinary and dynamic group will prove most entertaining to our growing audience."

"On this show, it just had to be Sharon Osbourne," said Simon Cowell, executive producer.

Osbourne and her rock icon husband, Ozzy Osbourne, took America by storm in 2002 when they starred with their family in the reality series "The Osbournes," which won an Emmy as Outstanding Non-Fiction Program that year. Osbourne also served as co-producer and executive producer of the series.

Her career in the music industry has spanned several years, managing numerous successful artists over the years including Ozzy's. In 1996 she created the successful Ozzfest summer touring festival, which went on to become a prime rock occasion and celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2006.

Osbourne additional television credits include judging the U.K.'s "The X Factor" from 2004-06 and guest starring on "Will & Grace," NBC's "Days of our Lives" and "Punk'd," among many other American series. Plus, she hosted her own daytime talk show "The Sharon Osbourne Show," and has appeared on "The 46th Annual Grammy Awards," "The 54th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards," "The 2003 MTM Video Awards" and "The 30th Annual American Music Awards." She's also the author of her autobiography, "Sharon Osbourne Extreme: My Autobiography."

Hasselhoff -- who currently is packing in audiences for his scene-stealing turn in the stage production of "The Producers" in Las Vegas" -- is also recognized internationally for both his work in television and music. Hasselhoff shot to fame with his starring role in "Knight Rider," which garnered him a People's Choice Award as Most Popular Actor. In 1989, Hasselhoff was cast in the internationally popular series "Baywatch," of which he eventually became the executive producer. Additionally, he is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as "The Most Watched TV Star in the World" due to his starring roles on both series. Hasselhoff's musical career took off in the late 1980s after he recorded the album "Looking for Freedom" at the end of the Cold War. The song became an anthem for the newly united German people and remained at the top of their charts for eight weeks. The album went triple platinum in Europe and Hasselhoff was named "Most Popular and Best Selling Artist of the Year" in Germany.

Additionally, he has released six other albums in Europe, which have all gone platinum and gold. He made his theatrical debut in the Broadway musical "Jekyll and Hyde," and went on to make his West End debut in the hit musical "Chicago." Hasselfhoff has also appeared in several feature films including, "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story," and the family favorite, "The Spongebob SquarePants Movie." He also starred in Adam Sandler's hit feature film "Click." His upcoming memoir "Don't Hassel The Hoff: The Autobiography," from Thomas Dunne Books, a division of St. Martin's press, will be released in the U.S. on May 15.

A former editor of the London Daily Mirror, Morgan was arguably the best-known national newspaper editor since his good friend Kelvin MacKenzie edited the Sun in the 1980s. He became editor of the News of the World at the age of 28 -- the youngest national newspaper editor for more than 50 years. Two years later, he was recruited to edit the Daily Mirror. During this time, he was responsible for breaking several high-profile stories and also became close friends with Princess Diana. In 2006, he launched "First News," the first weekly newspaper for children that endeavors to educate them on social and political issues in a language they can understand.

On television, Morgan served as host for two episodes of "Tabloid Tales" for BBC1 during the show's 2002/2003 season. Additionally, he hosted a three part series "The Importance of Being Famous," the one-hour documentary "The Death of Celebrity," as well as "You Can't Fire Me, I'm Famous." He also served as a contestant in a celebrity version of the U.K.'s "The Apprentice" which raised money for Comic Relief. His latest project will be co-judging "Britain's Got Talent" with Simon Cowell, which premieres on ITV in June. Morgan also created "The Pride of Britain Awards," in which high-profile celebrities and royals honor ordinary citizens for doing extraordinary and/or heroic things.

Springer is currently in his 16th season of hosting NBC Universal Domestic Television Distribution's hit talk show "The Jerry Springer Show." Throughout his varied career, Springer has become a cultural and civic icon. In addition to talk-show host, he has been mayor of Cincinnati, political pundit, lawyer, award-winning newscaster, country recording artist, international emcee, television personality, movie star, Broadway actor and progressive talk-radio broadcaster. Last fall, Springer added ballroom dancing to his list of accomplishments as he joined the cast of the hugely popular television series "Dancing with the Stars."

From FremantleMedia North America, the producers of "American Idol," and Simon Cowell's SYCO Television, "America's Got Talent" was last summer's #1 new series. It premiered on June 21, 2006 with a 4.6 rating, 14 share in adults 18-49 and 12.4 million viewers overall, making it the #1 non-sports telecast on television for the week.

Bringing the variety format back to the forefront of American culture, "America's Got Talent" showcases the hottest performers from across the country, with the winner being chosen by the television viewing audience. Each week, the show features a colorful array of hopeful future stars -- singers, dancers, comedic performers and unique acts of all ages who have a chance to strut and perform in front of a panel of celebrity judges.

"America's Got Talent" is produced by FremantleMedia North America and Cowell's SYCO TV. Cowell, Ken Warwick ("American Idol"), Cecile Frot-Coutaz ("American Idol"), Jason Raff ("Three Wishes") and James Sunderland ("Dancing on Ice") are the executive producers.

FremantleMedia North America (FMNA) is a division of global media giant FremantleMedia, one of the largest international creators and producers of program brands in the world. Based in Burbank, California, FMNA currently produces some of the most innovative and highest-rated entertainment on television, including the Emmy-nominated musical/reality phenomenon "American Idol" for Fox, "America's Got Talent" and "Thank God You're Here" for NBC, "American Inventor" for ABC, "The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency" for Oxygen, "Property Ladder" for TLC, "Monarch Cove" for Lifetime, the daily syndicated "Family Feud", and the longest-running game show in television history, "The Price Is Right" for CBS.

FremantleMedia is the production arm of the RTL Group, Europe's largest television and radio broadcast company. With interests in 34 television channels and 30 radio stations in 11 countries, RTL Group is a division of leading integrated media and entertainment company, Bertelsmann AG.

For further information, visit http://www.fremantlemedia.com.

  [april 2007]  


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