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FOX begins casting calls for Richard Branson's 'Apprentice'-like 'Branson's Quest For The Best' series


By Reality TV World staff, 05/17/2004 

FOX and Richard Branson have begun conducting the first round of casting calls for the British billionaire's still untitled reality show in which he'll search for "an extraordinary individual who has the right stuff" to follow in his footsteps. Operating under the new working title of The Billionaire: Branson's Quest For The Best, the previously titled Branson's Big Adventure conducted open casting calls in Boston and Salt Lake City this past weekend, with additional casting calls scheduled to take place this week in Seattle, New York City, and San Francisco, and nearly a dozen more cities to follow

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During his series, the global adventurer and founder/chairman of the Virgin Group of Companies will take a group of young would-be billionaires on a whirlwind tour of the world to test their mettle by reliving some of his colorful adventures. Participants will be tested on the same sorts of life experiences and personal dilemmas that Branson faced on his own path to becoming one of the world's most successful businesspeople.

Male and female adventurers and entrepreneurs of all backgrounds, education levels and experience (and 21 years of age and older) who are ready for the opportunity of a lifetime are encouraged to bring a recent photo of themselves to an open casting call near them.

In addition to changing its working title, The Billionaire: Branson's Quest For The Best has also undergone another change since FOX first announced the series in April -- while originally announced as being produced internally by Branson and own team (including his vice president of corporate communication at Virgin), FOX has now announced that the series will be executive produced by Bunim-Murray Productions, the folks behind such reality hits such as FOX's The Simple Life and MTV's long-running The Real World and Road Rules series.

A self-made billionaire known for risk-taking, both personally and professionally, Branson combines his enthusiasm for running the Virgin Group of Companies with his love for high-adventure, world record-breaking attempts. Branson is the only person in the world to have created five individual billion-dollar global enterprises from scratch in five different sectors transportation (planes, trains and automobiles), leisure, telecommunications, venture capital and entertainment all accomplished without any outside financial backing.

Branson formed Virgin Atlantic Airways in 1984 and in the last two decades has grown the airline into Britain's second-largest carrier. To promote the Virgin Atlantic name, Branson became involved in a number of high-publicity, record-breaking attempts throughout the 1980s and '90s. In 1986, his boat Virgin Atlantic Challenger II crossed the Atlantic Ocean in the fastest-ever recorded time, winning the Blue Riband back for Great Britain. A year later he flew the Virgin Atlantic Flyer balloon the largest ever built across the Atlantic.

In 1991 Branson's balloon crossed the Pacific from Japan to Canada, breaking all existing records, and he followed that with a number of attempts to circumnavigate the globe. Currently, Branson and Steve Fossett have partnered to attempt another great aviation first: a solo, non-stop flight around the world in less than 80 hours.

Casting calls will be held at the following cities:

Seattle Tuesday, May 18 11am-6pm
Fado Irish Pub
801 1st Ave.
Seattle, WA 98104

New York City Thursday, May 20 10am-6pm
Virgin Megastore
1540 Broadway
Level 2
New York, NY 10036

San Francisco Saturday, May 22 - 10am-5pm
Virgin Megastore
25 Stockton St.
San Francisco, CA 94108

Sunday. May 23 Philadelphia 10am 5pm
Saturday. May 29 Atlanta 10am 5pm
Saturday. May 29 Dallas 10am 5pm
Tuesday. June 1 Washington DC 11am 6pm
Tuesday. June 1 Kansas City 11am 6pm
Saturday. June 5 Chicago 10am 5pm
Saturday. June 5 Miami 10am 5pm
Tuesday. June 8 Charlotte, NC 11am 6pm
Tuesday. June 8 Indianapolis 11am 6pm


For updated casting call information, please see fox.com.


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