June 01, 2005 11:04 PM by Joe Blackmon
USA Network and Home Shopping Network (HSN) have joined forces on a new, groundbreaking reality show: Made in the USA, in which America’s undiscovered inventors and entrepreneurs will compete for an unparalleled chance of a lifetime to sell their invention on HSN.
"As we accelerate our efforts in the alternative arena, Made in the USA is the perfect show for us," said USA’s Jeff Wachtel, Executive Vice President Series and Long Form. "It’s fun, it’s aspirational and it speaks to the intelligence and inventiveness of our audience. Teaming with HSN, the electronic retailing powerhouse, really opens the door to making a unique, attention-getting piece of reality entertainment."
"This unique project taps into the entrepreneurial side of all of us," said Marty Nealon, President of HSN U.S. "Coming up with a great product idea is just the beginning. This show will take viewers on a journey with inventor hopefuls as they and their products are put to the test in the real day-to-day activities at our HSN headquarters and soundstages in St. Petersburg, Florida."
Made in the USA is hosted by Todd Newton, perhaps best-known to audiences as the former "Voice of E!" on E! Entertainment Television. Newton has hosted "Coming Attractions" – E!’s weekly half-hour showcase of current film previews, "Talk Soup," "E! NewsLive" and many of E!’s live events, such as red carpet arrivals at the Academy Awards, Emmy Awards, Golden Globes and star-studded movie premieres. Newton is joined by a cast of eclectic characters who will preside over the competition and judge what invention the public will ultimately choose for the opportunity to sell on HSN.
Nolan Bushnell, otherwise known as the "Father of the Video Game Industry" and is best known for inventing "Pong," Atari Corporation and Chuck E. Cheese Pizza Time Theater, will fill one of the judges’ seats. Joy Mangano, multimillionaire inventor of "The Miracle Mop" and industrial designer and cultural shaper Karim Rashid will join Bushnell as the judging troika of Made in the USA.
Made in the USA also will feature guest experts Lonnie Johnson, Robert Verdi, Rachel McCallister and Patti LaBelle. Johnson is a rocket scientist who has made millions with his invention of the popular toy – Supersoaker – and will lend insight into what it takes to launch a successful product. Verdi is the flamboyant and opinionated host of E! television’s Fashion Police and will offer his style critiques to contestants and explain the role it plays in creating a lasting first impression. McCallister is considered a PR guru and teaches the importance of "image making" in pushing a brand. Finally, the internationally-known LaBelle is not only a music icon but a successful celebrity pitch person who knows how to infuse personality into the selling equation.
Made in the USA will be executive produced by Ken Mok, creator and executive producer of UPN’s top-rated reality series America’s Next Top Model. Made in the U.S.A. is television’s newest and most ingenious reality program where America’s inventors and entrepreneurs get the opportunity to turn their dreams and passions in reality.
"Everyone at one point in their life has had an idea or invention that they thought could be the next big thing," said USA’s Libby Hansen, Vice President, Alternative Series and Specials. "This show will give innovators across the country a chance to prove themselves, and their ideas."
Contestants will participate in competitions, facing real-life challenges that inventors deal with in getting their product out to the public. Contestants, and viewers alike, will also get an exclusive behind the scenes look at the HSN empire and the creative and talented HSN employees that facilitate this dream. Each week, products and inventors will be eliminated until the ultimate payoff when one lucky inventor team wins a once-in-a-lifetime contract with HSN.
USA Network is cable television’s leading provider of original series and feature movies, sports events, off-net television shows, and blockbuster theatrical films. USA Network is seen in over 88 million U.S. homes. The USA Network Web site is located at www.usanetwork. USA Network is a program service of NBC Universal Cable a division of NBC Universal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience.
HSN, an operating business of IAC/InterActiveCorp (Nasdaq: IACI), originated the electronic retailing concept in 1977 on a small AM radio station in Florida. The company has since evolved into a global multichannel retailer on TV, where HSN is now the 4th largest cable television network in the U.S.; the Internet, through hsn.com; and catalogs such as Improvements and Home Focus. In 2003, HSN generated worldwide consolidated sales of $2.2 billion, answered 62 million calls and delivered 50 million packages worldwide.