June 16, 2005 11:04 PM by Joe Blackmon
In keeping with its tradition of upbeat, wish fulfillment-based reality television, the ABC Television Network is announcing a late-summer series, "My Kind of Town." This one-hour variety/comedy hybrid show from Embassy Row’s Michael Davies ("Who Wants to Be a Millionaire") and Will Macdonald and David Granger ("Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush") of the UK indie production company Monkey, celebrates small-town America each week in a completely original and hilarious way. The initial order is six episodes, with production beginning in mid-July.
"My Kind of Town" is a relentlessly energetic primetime studio show in which real American people in all of their imperfect and awkward glory have the chance to become the stars of their own show for one memorable night. Each week, 200 people from one small town come to our New York City studio, where a lucky handful will participate in individualized comedic games and gags for prizes tailored to their own lives, interests and needs. One person from the group of 200 is chosen to play the big end game, where they will shoulder the burden of either winning or losing a huge prize for the other 199 audience members – all of whom they will see every day for the rest of their lives. No pressure!
This variety/comedy hybrid promises big atmosphere and energy, emotional wish fulfillment, unexpected twists, laugh-out-loud comedy and the occasional B celebrity.
"It’s a show that’s full of comedic surprises" said Andrea Wong, executive vice president, Alternative Programming, Specials and Late-Night, ABC Entertainment, "and is just so entertaining, full of heart, that it’s a natural fit with – and demonstrates the evolution of — our brand of reality programming."
"’My Kind of Town’ is unlike anything else on television," said Davies. "Although it represents an extremely modern and alternative take on the big prize game show, it also combines a throwback to the classic studio variety show of the 1950s with unique comedic elements that involve the entire audience and an entire small town."
Truly born to host the hilarity and mayhem is British broadcasting sensation Johnny Vaughan, who is currently the host of the "Breakfast Show" on London station Capital FM, the highest-rated morning show in the most competitive daypart and market in the UK. Prior to Capital FM, Vaughan hosted Channel 4′s "The Big Breakfast" where he was described by The Independent as being "one of the golden treats of British television." He was poached by the BBC to host his own late-night show, and in 2003 went on to launch their new channel, BBC Three.
"I’m so excited at the prospect of being in primetime on ABC. It’s a bit like going from pitching in the minor leagues to getting the nod from the Yankees," said Vaughan.
Casting teams are currently traveling around America researching and casting small towns from Wisconsin to Alabama and everywhere in between.
"My Kind of Town" is produced by Pressure Productions, a joint venture between Embassy Row and Monkey. Production begins in mid-July in New York City.