Jennifer Armstrong
June 06, 2005 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Starring Alexz Johnson What It’s About It’s The Ashlee Simpson Show meets Degrassi: The Next Generation! Fifteen-year-old Canadian singer Jude Harrison (Johnson) struggles with fame after she wins an American Idol-style contest. What to Expect Dodging paparazzi, crushing on her producer, and trying to write a hit that will save her record company — all while dealing with her parents’ bickering and her sister’s jealousy. Says Degrassi cocreator Linda Schuyler, who came up with Star’s concept while sitting in the audience of Canadian Idol: ”We wanted the show to have a rock-video feel, like you could find it on The WB.” The biggest challenge: locating a young star who could pull off the acting and the singing. Enter 18-year-old opera-trained Johnson. ”It’s a TV show, so everyone looks gorgeous all the time,” she says. ”But besides that, it does stay pretty true to the industry.” Why We’re Optimistic Degrassi-quality teen angst and an insanely catchy new song each week? Just try to keep us away.

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