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ABC's new 'The Next Best Thing' reality series to premiere May 30


By Christopher Rocchio, 03/13/2007 

ABC has announced the premiere of The Next Best Thing: Who is the Greatest Celebrity Impersonator?, a new reality series that will search to find America's best celebrity impersonators.

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The series is scheduled to premiere with a special two-hour episode on Wednesday, May 30 at 8PM ET/PT.  The Next Best Thing will then begin airing regular one-hour episodes in its normal time slot of Wednesdays at 8PM ET/PT beginning June 6, when it will be followed by the premiere of the second season of American Inventor.

Formerly known as The Imposter, The Next Best Thing began production on March 5 in Los Angeles, with additional auditions being held throughout March in Las Vegas, New York City and Orlando.  Contestants who advance from one of the four regional auditions will then move onto the semifinals.  Ten finalists will be chosen from the semifinals to compete on-air when The Next Best Thing premieres.  The series' finale is scheduled to be broadcast live from Las Vegas, according to ABC.

The Next Best Thing will be hosted by Michele Merkin, a model who has appeared in ELLE, Marie Claire, Harper's Bazaar and Vogue.  Stand-up-comedian and actor Jeffrey Ross and Jeff Goldblum impersonator and comedian Elon Gold will serve as two of The Next Best Thing's three judges.  Rounding out the judge panel will be Lisa Ann Walterhad, an actress and comedian whose participation had already been previously announced.

The Next Best Thing is produced by Peter Engel Productions Inc. (the folks behind NBC's Last Comic Standing) and New Wave Entertainment. Peter Engel and Barry Katz serve as executive producers along with the team of Fax Bahr and Adam Small.

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