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[08/25/08 - 03:34 PM]
Mario Lopez to Host New Live Music Competition Series "MTV's Top Pop Group" Premiering Thursday, September 11
First up though: "MTV's Top Pop Group: The Casting Special" on Thursday, August 28 at 9:00/8:00c.

[via press release from MTV]

MARIO LOPEZ TO HOST NEW LIVE MUSIC COMPETITION SERIES "MTV'S TOP POP GROUP" PREMIERING THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 11

Viewers Get Sneak Peek During "MTV's Top Pop Group: The Casting Special" Premiering August 28 at 9pm ET/PT

New York, NY (August 25, 2008) � From the Jonas Brothers to the Pussycat Dolls and Danity Kane, pop groups hold a special place in America's heart providing a soundtrack to our lives. Now MTV sets out to find the next pop sensation to join these music superstars and Mario Lopez (host of MTV's "America's Best Dance Crew") is taking the hosting reins for the new live music competition series "MTV's Top Pop Group" premiering Thursday, September 11 at 10:00 PM ET/PT. Joining Mario in the studio will be backstage correspondent Marianela Pereyra. Celebrity judges and mentors for "MTV's Top Pop Group" to be announced at a later date.

Following a nationwide search in Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Miami and Los Angeles, MTV will welcome nine of the greatest undiscovered music groups to the stage for a chance to win $100,000 and the title of "MTV's Top Pop Group." Each week, a new celebrity coach will come in to mentor the groups on everything from choreography and harmony to style and stage presence. And with dreams of stardom on the line, the groups will not only need to impress the mentors and panel of judges in the studio, but more importantly, the viewers at home, as the viewers decide who makes it to the next round.

For a sneak peek at the nine talented groups from across the U.S., MTV will offer "MTV's Top Pop Group: The Casting Special" on Thursday, August 28 at 9pm ET/PT before they head to Hollywood to compete. The one-hour special features host Mario Lopez as he introduces each of the groups providing viewers with a behind-the-scenes look at their audition and their personal lives.

"MTV's Top Pop Group" promises to be one of the most inspiring performance competition shows to ever hit television. It is the first music competition series for pre-existing music acts rather than individual musicians competing to create a group. Shot on location in Los Angeles, each group will rehearse and demonstrate their unique sounds and skills as their personal life stories unfold within the show in front of a live studio audience.

From actor to host, producer to writer; Mario Lopez has already made his mark on Hollywood and he has no plans to stop. Most recently, Extra! named him the single host of the daily nationally syndicated show. Concurrently, Lopez will continue his hosting duties on one of MTV's highest rated shows, "America's Best Dance Crew." ABDC, as it is affectionately called by its fans, features twelve dance groups vying for the title of the Best Dance crew in the nation. Mario is no stranger to rigorous dance routines, in the third season of Dancing with the Stars; he danced his way to the final round, taking the runner-up title. Not only does Mario have a penchant for the entertainment industry, he is also an avid sports fan. Lopez has taken his love for sports, specifically boxing, to the next level as a recurring commentator on HBO Boxing. This summer, Mario successfully completed his first run on Broadway starring in the hit musical A CHORUS LINE as the much loved character �Zach.'

No stranger to television, the deadly combination of brains and beauty is what made Marianela the obvious choice as co-host, alongside Mario Lopez. What Mario lacks in, well, girl power, Marianela brings in the form of sass, spontaneity and style. Marianela knows what it takes to be a music superstar as she's interviewed icons such as Gwen Stefani, Usher, Maroon Five, 50 Cent, Ice Cube, and Kanye West. She has had a �host' of hosting of experience ranging from her VJ days to covering the 2005 Grammy Awards for Access Hollywood, to hosting NBC's Poker After Dark. Marianela's wit and versatility has landed her panelist appearances on CNN's Showbiz Tonight, and on Tru TV's Hollywood Heat. This pop culture guru has even been featured in several magazines including Maxim and Billboard, and has written a monthly column for CosmoGIRL.

"MTV's Top Pop Group" is produced by BBC Worldwide America. The show is executive produced by Allison Wallach of BBC Worldwide America, Richard Hopkins of Fever Media, and co-executive produced by Adam Paul. Maira Suro, Lauren Dolgen and Maitee Cueva are the executives overseeing the project for MTV.

About BBC Worldwide America

BBC Worldwide America (BBCWA) is part of BBC Worldwide - the main commercial arm and a wholly-owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). BBCWA has headquarters in New York and Los Angeles and brings together all of BBC Worldwide's businesses in the U.S. � including cable channel BBC America and a bi-coastal production division responsible for the smash hit "Dancing with the Stars," which returns for its 7th season this Fall.

About MTV

MTV is the dynamic, vibrant experiment at the intersection of music, creativity and youth culture. For over 26 years, MTV has evolved, challenged the norm, and detonated boundaries -- giving each new generation a creative outlet and voice that entertains, informs and unites on every platform and screen. On-air, MTV has been the number one rated 24 hour ad-supported cable network P12-24 for 16 straight years. Online, MTV.com scored double-digit growth in 2007 and MTV launched 15 dynamic online communities and eight new virtual worlds. On the go, MTV Mobile is the #1 music brand in the wireless space � delivering 90% more streams than in 2006. And MTV's successful sibling networks MTV2, mtvU and MTV Tr3s each deliver unprecedented customized content, super-serving music fans, college students and young American Latinos like no one else. MTV is part of MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms.





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· RANDY JACKSON PRESENTS: AMERICA'S BEST DANCE CREW (MTV)
· TOP POP GROUP (MTV)





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