March 21, 2007 09:37 PM by Joe Reality
Businessman/former heavyweight champion/ordained minister George
Foreman, British tycoon Peter Jones, entrepreneur Pat Croce and Spanx
creator Sara Blakely join new host Nick Smith for the exciting,
innovative second season of "American Inventor," which has its season
premiere WEDNESDAY, JUNE 6 (9:00-10:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television
The biggest search for America’s best new invention is currently taking place in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Orlando and Houston. Inventors, tinkerers and entrepreneurs of all ages are presenting their most prized creations and innovations to "American Inventor" celebrity judges. Each week during the first six episodes, one winner from each city will be given $50,000 seed money to further develop and refine their product for the semifinal round. In the end, it will be up to the American viewing audience to call in and vote for the one invention they feel is worthy of the $1 million dollar grand prize and the chance to mass produce their product.
GEORGE FOREMAN was barely out of his teens when he startled the world by winning an Olympic gold medal in boxing in Mexico City. In his early twenties, he destroyed the seemingly invincible Joe Frazier to capture boxing’s heavyweight championship. In Zaire, not long after, he was on the opposite end of a startling upset, losing his crown to Muhammad Ali. In 1977, in his dressing room after losing a fight, Foreman had a religious experience. He then gave up boxing, became a born-again Christian and was ordained a minister. A decade later, to raise money for his George Foreman Youth and Community Center, he shocked the sports world by returning to the ring and, at the age of 44 and against all odds, he recaptured boxing’s crown. Currently Foreman is well-known for marketing the George Foreman Lean Mean Grilling Machine, which has sold over 100 million units to date.
PETER JONES is one of the most successful and versatile business gurus in the UK, with interests spanning telecommunications, business services, publishing and fashion, as well as television. He created a $300 million empire from scratch and continues to invest in and build a diverse portfolio of business interests. Jones found fame as one of the panelists on the hit BBC business reality show, "Dragon’s Den." He recently closed a deal with ITV to produce original programming through Peter Jones TV and is currently in production on the highly anticipated primetime show "Tycoon," which seeks to discover the UK’s next business sensation.
PAT CROCE is the outspoken entrepreneur whose meteoric rise from training room to boardroom of a professional sports team can be described as nothing less than extraordinary. His remarkable journey from physical therapist and pioneer in the sports medicine field to the colorful leader responsible for the resurrection of the Philadelphia 76ers as a NBA championship contender has been defined as one of the most amazing stories in sports history. He also found success as a sports commentator, nationally syndicated talk show host, motivational speaker and bestselling author.
SARA BLAKELY wanted footless body shaping pantyhose to wear with her cream-colored pants and open-toed shoes, but she couldn’t find them anywhere. Frustrated consumer turned entrepreneur, Blakely took $5,000 in savings, invented and patented footless pantyhose, and began her adventure in the $2 billion male-dominated hosiery industry by founding SPANX.
NICK SMITH worked as host and reporter for the ABC7 News team at KGO-TV in San Francisco. He also anchored a local morning news program in Philadelphia and provided live coverage of special interest stories in his own segment, "Nick in the Neighborhood." While serving in the United States Army in Germany, he worked with a team to create various training videos. Smith has been a live reporter for the Army/Navy game, traditionally held in Philadelphia. He has also worked as a reporter for E! Entertainment Television, and his live reporting has appeared on the FOX News Channel, the Weather Channel, ABC’s "World News Now," "Live! With Regis and Kelly" and "ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings."
"American Inventor" is produced by FremantleMedia North America, Simon Cowell’s Syco Television and Peter Jones TV Ltd. Simon Cowell, Cecile Frot-Coutaz, Siobhan Greene, Peter Jones and Clay Newbill are executive producers. Dug James and Tabitha Hansen are co-executive producers.