How many times have you watched a reality singing, dancing or performance show and wished you could give the pop-star wannabe a bit of advice or a real-time verbal smackdown?
"American Idol" co-creator Simon Fuller feels your pain, and he's going to give you the chance in 2010 to be more than just a passive observer. Fuller is behind a new hybrid TV/Web show called "If I Can Dream" that will follow three aspiring actors, a model and a musician as they try to make it in Hollywood. The show will stream live online and give viewers the chance to comment and interact with the stars on MySpace, Twitter, Facebook and various blogs in real time.
"I am determined to continue challenging convention and pushing the boundaries of mainstream entertainment," Fuller said in a statement. "The next frontier is the video world of authentic real-time interaction. 'If I Can Dream' experiments with technology to provide for the first time a complete open-door opportunity that allows the viewer to experience reality in a way never before attempted. It is time the public got to see the truth behind what it takes to launch the careers of young artists who have a dream that one day on pure merit they can be professional entertainers and gain the recognition they crave. This is the dawning of a new age."
Set to debut early next year, the show was described as "a new generation of post-reality entertainment." In addition to the online platforms, the series will also feature elements that will show up on radio, TV and mobile phones and will be available 24/7 at IfICanDream.com. A recap program for worldwide viewers will appear on Hulu.com at the end of every week. Clear Channel radio stations will help promote it by having radio personalities update listeners on-air, and future hopefuls will get a chance to audition for the show by uploading videos to MySpace.
" 'If I Can Dream' will give viewers a documentary-like look at what it takes to achieve success and recognition in Hollywood in 2010," according to the announcement. "The viewer will watch as an initial group of five young people — a musician, an actor, two actresses and a model — leave their hometowns and live together high up in the Hollywood Hills. Their every move will be streamed live online as they rehearse, write music, socialize and plan their careers. Innovative camera and sensor technology will allow a global audience to interact with the aspiring performers through text, blogs, MySpace, Twitter and Facebook as the action unfolds in real-time — something that has never been attempted on a global scale before."
Blog posts and video messages from audience members will allow the performers to test out new ideas, rehearse and audition in front of a "live" audience at all times, as new hopefuls and participants will be introduced as a community develops around the show, according to producers.
"The story line of 'If I Can Dream' will be driven by the real-life narrative of the lives of the individual members, so when one of them leaves — to go on tour, to shoot a part in a movie, because they've been dropped or simply because they want out — their place will be taken by a new hopeful who will be chosen by the public via an open audition process."
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