TV Guide reveals 'America's Next Producer' cast, show to debut July 18
By Christopher Rocchio, 06/05/2007
The TV Guide Channel has announced the premiere date and contestants who will compete on America's Next Producer, a new reality series that will follow a group of 10 television and video producers as they compete for a prize package that includes a first-look deal with the cable network.
The 10-episode series is scheduled to premiere Wednesday, July 18 at 8PM ET/PT on TV Guide, and is produced by Magical Elves, the same production company behind Bravo's Project Runway and Top Chef reality competition series.
Each one-hour episode of America's Next Producer will follow the cast of five men and five women as they leave their current jobs in the world of television and video production to participate in a series of challenges while being judged on their abilities to both create and execute show ideas in a variety of genres. Hosted by former radio DJ and actress Ananda Lewis, regular judges on America's Next Producer are Chairman and CEO of Fox Sports Television Group David Hill as well as TV Guide senior television critic Matt Roush. A different "celebrity guest judge" will round-out the panel each week.
TV Guide announced in mid-February that America's Next Producer was being developed before launching a nationwide casting call to find the 10 finalists who will compete on the series for a first-look deal with the cable network; a production office in Hollywood, CA; as well as $100,000 cash.
The self-described "problem solver that talks too much" currently serves as a field producer for Nick Davis Productions. Gallo already believes he fits the mold of an ideal TV producer and has no doubt that he has this competition in the bag. He holds a Professional Certificate of Directing from New York University and has received two awards for directing and cinematography.
Daniel Hosea, a 33-year-old from New York, NY
The "hard news" veteran currently hones his skills as a TV news writer/producer at CNN and as a producer at NBC Weather Plus, where he focuses on writing package intros for American Morning and the national weather network respectively. While he prides himself on his history of producing just about anything news related, he is extremely interested in seeing what the other side of the table looks like as a comedy or drama producer.
Jessica Iaccarino, a 32-year-old from Huntington Station, NY
Currently serving as a Supervising Producer at Speed TV, the self-proclaimed "overreacting drama queen" is determined to show America that producing a hit TV show is all about adding a dramatic, creative and comedic element to real life scenarios. A true New Yorker, Iaccarino is a docu-reality fanatic with a very dominant personality.
Lindsay Liles, a 24-year-old from West Hollywood, CA
After traveling from Houston, Miami, New York and now to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a writer, Liles got a job as a producer on the Style Network's Clean House. As the youngest person in her department, Liles believes that her ambition and "know how" will be enough to not only excel in this business, but prove her naysayers wrong.
Adam Mutterperl, a 32-year-old from New York, NY
The self-proclaimed "control freak" has dabbled in nearly every possible area from producing to comedic writing, directing and performing. With an ever-growing interest in comedy and animation, Mutterperl dreams of producing his own comedic scripted show and will use his time on America's Next Producer to show off his skills and win the competition.
Sharon Nash, a 46-year-old from Alta Dena, CA
A seasoned television veteran with 25 years of TV producing under her belt, Nash dares anyone to try to get in her way. Describing herself as a "natural born producer," taking charge is the name of Nash's game. Nash believes that there are three key ingredients in being successful in this business: tough skin, ambition and an eye for talent. Having worked on everything from national primetime shows to local television news, Nash has seen and done it all and has developed a work ethic that cannot be faked. Her goal is to not only be America's Next Producer, but "America's Next Mogul."
Steve "Schliz" Schleinitz, a 32-year-old from Los Angeles, CA
An ex-United States Marine, Steve "Schliz" Schleinitz proudly served his country for four years until he was honorably discharged in 1997. The self-proclaimed Hollywood "ladies man" also lends his production expertise to the appropriately fitting Girls Gone Wild series and claims to be a quick learner that has already sold a pilot idea similar to MTV's Jackass oversees. Schleinitz has no doubt that he can win the America's Next Producer competition and thinks that this victory will garner the attention he needs to be able to sell his hit ideas.
Evie Shapiro, a 36-year-old from Los Angeles, CA
Shapiro has done just about everything possible in production and has produced shows for HBO, The Daily Show and the list goes on from there. As an extremely competitive person, Shapiro describes herself as being great at commanding a crew, but not the best at being part of a team. Shapiro will surprise a lot of people in the competition with her talent.
Gwen Uszuko, a 22-year-old from Denver, CO
Uszuko currently works for Fox 31 in Denver and was the first contestant to be introduced last month when she won TV Guide Network's online video contest hosted by Yahoo!'s Jumpcut. The Notre Dame graduate beat out thousands of other contestants with her personal bio video submission and as the winner of the America's Next Producer Search Contest, Uszuko serves as the youngest contestant on the show.
Alphonzo "Zo" Wesson, a 46-year-old from Cincinnati, OH
As Owner, Director and Producer of Cincinnati-based ZoMotion Pictures, Alphonzo Wesson (nicknamed "Zo") has over 20 years of experience and knows what it takes to succeed in the world of production. "Zo" has been credited with directing and producing high profile shows including Oprah and Gayle's Big Adventure, MTV's Making The Band alongside Hip Hop mogul, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs and was the first African American to direct MTV's long standing hit reality series, The Real World.