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ABC's 'American Inventor' to have new judges, host for second season


By Christopher Rocchio, 03/21/2007 

Before former The Rebel Billionaire runner-up Sarah Blakely appeared on the 2004 Fox reality series, she was already known as the creator of Spanx footless pantyhose.  Now ABC's American Inventor is going to give Blakely the opportunity to critique the creations of other inventors.

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ABC has announced that Blakely, former heavyweight boxing champ and grill master George Foreman, and former talk-show host and entrepreneur Pat Croce will serve as American Inventor judges when the Simon Cowell reality series premieres its second season on Wednesday, June 6 at 9PM ET/PT, Daily Variety reported on Tuesday. 

"All of our judges have great but different success stories," American Inventor executive producer Clay Newbill told Variety.  "They all bring different perspectives to the process."

Blakely, Foreman and Croce will replace first season judges Ed Evangelista, Mary Lou Quinlan and Doug Hall, who will not return for American Inventor's second installment.  However Peter Jones -- an American Inventor executive producer and British businessman -- will be back as the series' fourth judge. 

American Inventor's second season will also reportedly have a new host, with former San Francisco news anchor Nick Smith replacing first season Inventor host Matt Gallant.

ABC launched open casting calls for the second season of American Inventor this week in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Orlando and Houston. The first six episodes of the reality competition series will take place on the road, with a finalist from each of the six audition cities chosen each week.  American Inventor's seventh episode will be a special two-hour broadcast that focuses on the six finalists as they construct their prototypes and deliver them to the judges, who will then reveal three finalists. 

Viewers will then pick their favorite invention, with the winner receiving $1 million dollars and the opportunity to market their product worldwide.

American Inventor comes from FremantleMedia North America, Syco TV and Peter Jones TV Ltd. Besides Newbill and Jones, the series is executive produced by Simon Cowell, Cecile Frot-Coutaz and Siobhan Greene.

(Photo credit ABC)


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