August 27, 2007 07:10 PM by Joe Blackmon
The producers behind mega-hit phenomenon AMERICAN IDOL take the musical
reality genre to a whole new performance level with a mission to find
undiscovered groups on THE NEXT GREAT AMERICAN BAND. Singer/songwriter
John Rzeznik (The Goo Goo Dolls), legendary percussionist and performer
Shelia E. (“The Glamorous Life,” “A Love Bizarre”) and Australian TV
personality Ian “Dicko” Dickson (“Australian Idol”) will serve as
judges while Dominic Bowden (“New Zealand Idol”) hosts the series
premiering Friday, Oct. 19 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. The show will
air in its regular time period on Fridays (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT).
From the auditions, the show’s judges – Rzeznik, Sheila E. and Dickson – will narrow down the hopefuls to 10 semifinalist bands who will perform weekly in front of a live studio audience. The judges will have their say after each performance, but viewers will vote for their favorite bands to determine who stays in the competition. Voting begins immediately after each show, and the results will be announced, by host Bowden, at the beginning of the following episode.
Each week, the bands will perform either original music or covers of varied styles. The range of genres will test their musical limits, and could also strike the wrong chord in their personal and professional relationships. The season finale brings the ultimate battle of the bands, with the last three groups competing to secure a contract with 19 Recordings and the title of “Next Great American Band.”
As guitarist and lead singer of The Goo Goo Dolls, John Rzeznik is the voice behind the platinum-selling, chart-topping act responsible for such radio staples as “Name,” “Iris,” “Slide” and “Here Is Gone.” The fifth and youngest child of a Buffalo, NY, working-class family, Rzeznik inherited his lifelong love of music from his mother and father, both of whom were musicians. As a teen, Rzeznik found refuge in listening to Jagger-Richards classics, playing in bands and catching shows by the Ramones, the English Beat and the Clash. But it was in college that he met his Goo Goo Dolls bandmates and soon therafter scored a record deal with Celluloid Records, which released the band’s first album in 1987. The band later became affiliated with Warner Bros. and began the transformation from thrash-playing punks to respectable rockers unafraid to wear their hearts on their sleeve. Rzeznik and the band went on to achieve commercial success during their two decades in the music industry, selling 10 million records worldwide and placing 14 songs in the Top 10. Rzeznik is currently on a worldwide tour for their latest album, “Let Love In,” which was released in 2006. The four-time Grammy-nominated band also has two upcoming albums: “Greatest Hits Vol. I – The Singles,” to be released in November 2007, followed by a rarities collection in early 2008.
Since picking up drumsticks at the age of 3, Sheila E. has been a compelling force in the music industry. As a top session and touring musician in the 1980s, Shelia E. performed with the likes of Herbie Hancock, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross and Lionel Richie. But it was her friend Prince who helped catapult her into pop superstardom with the hits “The Glamorous Life” and “A Love Bizarre,” plus her work on numerous other Prince-related projects. Shelia E. has also served as musical director for Jennifer Lopez, BeyoncÃƒ and Prince, and she became television’s first female music director for Magic Johnson’s “The Magic Hour.” Recently, she appeared with and played drums for Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band. Her current project, C.O.E.D. (Chronicles Of Every Diva), is touring worldwide and preparing for a new record release. Along with her commitment to music, Sheila E. maintains a heavy involvement with charitable organizations, including serving as co-chair of the Elevate Hope Foundation, focusing on promoting music and arts to victims of child abuse.
A 20-year record industry veteran, Ian Dickson has taken the Australian television audience by storm as the bawdy judge on “Australian Idol.” Originally from England, Dickson began his career as a press and promotions manager at the independent label Creation Records, responsible for such groups as Jesus and Mary Chain, Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine and, most famously, Oasis. Dickson then moved on to Sony Music UK, where he served as the press officer for artists including LL Cool J, Midnight Oil and Michael Bolton, and later to the Epic Label as a marketing executive for Pearl Jam, Ozzy Osbourne and Celine Dion, among others.
After stints as Director of International for both Sony UK and AM Records, Dickson was appointed Vice President of International at BMG UK Group. While in this position, Dickson was given an opportunity to move to Australia and tackle the role of GM of Marketing for BMG Australia. It was this move that took Dickson’s already colorful career on a brand-new path, emerging from behind the scenes to the main stage when he was cast as a judge on the hit series “Australian Idol.”
Dickson has also appeared on the Australian version of “Dancing with the Stars” and hosted “Celebrity Survivor” and “My Restaurant Rules.” He has garnered such awards as “Fave Old Fart” and “Fave Meanie” from Nickelodeon in Australia. Dickson is also partner of talent management firm Watercooler Talent.
Dominic Bowden has been at the forefront of television in New Zealand for the past seven years. Bowden has graced the covers of magazines and hosts his own national radio show, but it was the opportunity to host New Zealand’s version of “American Idol” that made him a household name. “New Zealand Idol” has taken its place in Kiwi pop culture and with it, Bowden has become one of the country’s most recognizable faces. Although a new face to American viewers, Bowden has hosted major television events in New Zealand and appeared in several feature films and television series.
THE NEXT GREAT AMERICAN BAND is produced by 19 Entertainment and FremantleMedia North America. Simon Fuller (19 Entertainment), Nigel Lythgoe (19 Entertainment), Ken Warwick (FremantleMedia North America) and Cecile Frot-Coutaz (FremantleMedia North America) are executive producers. Charles Boyd is co-executive producer.