American Idol Auditions Coming to a Town Near You with the Idol Auditions Tour

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 11, 2005--

  American Idol Tryouts Extended To 50 Cities Across The U.S. Through Exclusive Agreement Between FremantleMedia and Glowcast Ventures  

“Historically we've been able to visit only six or seven cities each season”

So you think you are as good as the American Idol contestants you watch on television each week? Now is your chance to prove it. FremantleMedia Licensing Worldwide, Americas (FLW, Americas), the U.S. licensing division of FremantleMedia, one of the largest international creators and producers of program brands in the world and co-producer and licensor of American Idol, has teamed up with Glowcast Ventures, one of America's newest and most innovative media companies, to extend the audition process to 50 cities across the nation with - The Idol Auditions Tour. This one-of-a-kind partnership will allow an estimated additional 20,000 people to try out for the nation's most-watched show on television and will for the first time invite the more than 30 million American Idol fans to watch their friends, family and neighbors audition for national stardom. The Idol Auditions Tour will launch in August 2006 in time for Season Six of American Idol.

"Historically we've been able to visit only six or seven cities each season," commented Olivier Gers, Senior Vice President, FLW, Americas. "The Idol Auditions Tour will reach more people, in more cities, than ever before, giving a lot more people the chance to live out their dreams."

The Idol Auditions Tour will extend the American Idol experience to 50 cities across the country at local malls and other sites yet to be announced. The first 500 people to arrive at the audition site and meet all the requirements of an American Idol contestant will then earn the right to perform in front of a live audience for the chance to gain access to one of the primary audition sites for the show. After performing, winners from each of the 50 local auditions will then be fast-tracked through the stadium audition process in their region, having pre-cleared the early round of auditions. Each of the local events will also include a variety of fan friendly experiences and interactive exhibits presented by the sponsors of the Tour.

"We came up with the idea for this tour when we learned that one contestant sold her wedding ring to make the trip to audition for American Idol. We realized that there were probably other contestants who couldn't afford to travel or take time off from work in order to try out for the show. The newest American Idol, Carrie Underwood, had to travel over 7 hours to make the trip. We're excited to bring the auditions to the local level because it ensures that the best 'Idol' is found," said Ken Seiff, Chief Executive Officer, Glowcast Ventures.

Jasmine Trias, a third place finisher in the third season of American Idol and resident of Hawaii added, "If there hadn't been auditions in Hawaii during my season, there would have been no way for me to tryout for a spot. It was just too far and expensive to travel for me. American Idol changed my life and I'd hate to think that there's some performer out there who won't be given the chance to shine because they can't make it to an audition. This is a great opportunity."

"We look forward to partnering with FremantleMedia on this new venture. By bringing the auditions to the local level, we believe that this event will not only break new ground on television, but will allow American Idol to become America's most accessible show, while increasing the already extraordinary level of viewer engagement," said Alex Drosin, President of Glowcast Ventures."

About FremantleMedia

FremantleMedia Licensing Worldwide, Americas (FLW, Americas) is the US licensing arm of FremantleMedia, one of the largest international creators and producers of program brands in the world, with leading prime time drama, serial drama, entertainment and factual entertainment programming in over 40 territories. FLW, Americas exploits FremantleMedia's many strong brands including the award winning, American Idol, the world's longest running game show The Price Is Right, the ever-popular Family Feud, and other classic game shows across multiple off-screen platforms including merchandising campaigns, interactive and wireless support, home entertainment and music publishing.

About Glowcast Ventures

Glowcast Ventures was established in 2005 with a mission to bring the most innovative and engaging content to consumers through television, events, the web and mobile phones. Its partners, Ken Seiff, who founded Bluefly, Inc. (Nasdaq SmallCap: BFLY), and Alex Drosin, former President of Broadway Video Enterprises, have a history of creating new forms of successful and entertaining content. In February 2005, the Glowcast partners announced the launch of the Diet Channel Network, a cable television channel focused exclusively on dieting and weight loss.

About American Idol

Five-time Emmy Award-nominee AMERICAN IDOL was created by Simon Fuller of 19TV and developed by FremantleMedia. Executive producers are Simon Fuller and Nigel Lythgoe for 19TV and Cecile Frot-Coutaz and Ken Warwick for FremantleMedia North America. 19 also manages such leading musical artists as Annie Lennox, Will Young, Kelly Clarkson, and Fantasia. FremantleMedia North America is one of America's foremost producers of reality-based entertainment programming for television, and has produced the IDOL format in more than 30 countries worldwide.

About 19 Entertainment

19 is recognized as a leading creator, provider and promoter of globally successful, music based entertainment, or "Entertainment Brands". 19 has attracted a unique collection of expertise in people who work together to integrate and leverage activity across television, music film, merchandising, music publishing, recording, artist/writer and producer management, sponsorship and promotion. To date, 19 has been involved in the creation of 101 Number 1 singles and 81 Number 1 albums with an impressive tally of 233 Top 40 albums and 389 Top 40 singles.


Bender/Helper Impact for FremantleMedia:
Brian Reinert, 212-689-6360

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