May 30, 2007 12:01 AM by Joe Blackmon
From producers Peter Engel and Barry Katz ("Last Comic Standing") and
Fax Bahr and Adam Small ("The Jamie Kennedy Experiment," "Mad TV")
comes the diabolically outrageous and raucously entertaining "The Next
Best Thing: Who Is the Greatest Celebrity Impersonator?," premiering
WEDNESDAY, MAY 30 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.
In each episode, a panel of popular well known judges — comedians Jeffrey Ross ("Comedy Central Roasts," "The Aristocrats"), Lisa Ann Walter ("The Parent Trap," "Shall We Dance?") and Elon Gold ("Stacked," "Cheaper by the Dozen") — will use their razor sharp wit and comedic skills as they evaluate, critique and sometimes skewer celebrity impersonators based on how much they look, sound and act like the celebrity they’re impersonating. The judges will determine who will go on to compete in the next round of auditions, while America will vote for the final winning impersonator through a viewer voting system. The winner will receive a grand prize of $100,000.
Michele Merkin ("Foody Call," "Extreme Dodgeball") hosts the show, which will audition thousands of people in Los Angeles, New York City, Las Vegas and Orlando. Contestants impersonate, among others, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston, Johnny Depp, James Bond, Dolly Parton, Superman, George W. Bush, Neil Diamond, David Letterman and Tony Soprano. Thirty semi-finalists will perform their routines in front of the judges and a live studio audience. The ten finalists chosen by the judges will do one final performance for viewers at home, whose vote will then determine the winner and confer the $100,000 prize and the title of "The Next Best Thing."
New Wave Entertainment is a premier content development and production enterprise and one of the entertainment industry’s largest entertainment and marketing creative service agencies. Burbank-based New Wave is owned by principals Paul Apel and Alan Baral. Peter Engel Productions has produced over a thousand episode of weekly entertainment, including the teen mega-hit "Saved by the Bell."