VH1 has announced that In Search of the Partridge Family, a reality television casting competition which will serve as a lead-in to a new VH1 The Partridge Family scripted sitcom update of the classic 1970's series, will premiere Sunday, September 5 at 9PM ET/PT.

First announced back in November 2003, In Search of the Partridge Family will be a seven episode reality series that will cast a modern-day version of the iconic sitcom family. After conducting casting calls in Orlando, New York, Minneapolis and Los Angeles, the series will attempt to cast people who resemble, act and sing like Danny, Keith, Laurie and Shirley Partridge.

Once the initial regional tryouts are over, eight finalists for each character will be flown to Los Angeles to undergo a rigorous "boot camp" team consisting of an acting coach, vocal coach, fashion consultant and make-up stylist. With original Partridge cast members David Cassidy, Danny Bonaduce and Shirley Jones looking on, a panel of judges will whittle down the eight contestants for each character to three based on their talent -- at which point America will get to vote as to which two move on to the finals.

In the finals, the two finalists for each character will go head-to-head in an American Idol-like singing competition in which America will vote once again on who will win each role.

Lastly, in the seventh and final episode, the new Partridge Family will be revealed to America and perform together as a band for the first time. The "family" will then be whisked away to begin rehearsals for a sitcom pilot that will debut on VH1 in late fall. Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein who previously executive produced The Simpsons are helming the pilot.

While at first glance In Search of the Partridge Family sounds similar to TBS's upcoming reality TV update of the 1960's Gilligan's Island sitcom, upon closer examination, the similarities appear to with the fact that both reality shows are based on classic nostalgic programs. Like In Search of the Partridge Family, The Real Gilligan's Island will feature reality TV contestants filling the roles of classic television characters. However, beyond that, the two shows will different significantly, with In Search of the Partridge Family focusing on the selection of the new sitcom's would-be band members, while The Real Gilligan's Island will begin with its contestants already selected and chronicle the misadventures that the group encounters while attempting to escape their "shipwreck" situation.

In Search of the Partridge Family is produced by Jeff Margolis Productions for Avoca Productions, Inc. in association with Sony Pictures Television and is a production of VH1 with Jeff Olde and Claire McCabe serving as executives for VH1, Jeff Margolis is serving as Executive Producer and David Cassidy as Co-Executive Producer.