''American Idol'' clone series are in the works. ''Idol'' producers plot search for multitalented supergirl, while cable's USA will look for a ''Nashville Star''

By Gary Susman
Updated August 13, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT
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TV is becoming ”Idol”-ized. In the imitation-is-the-sincerest-form-of-television department, at least two series are in development that offer twists on the now-proven hit formula behind Fox’s ”American Idol.” Variety reports that USA is working on a country version called ”Nashville Star,” to air this winter. While the winner will get a recording contract with Universal Music Group, the show’s creators downplay the ”Idol” similarities, saying their show will be less focused on competition and performance. Moreover, the contestants will have to compose their own songs. ”We’ll see the stories behind the song,” producer Ben Silverman told Variety. ”If one of the performers is a dishwasher from rural Kentucky who’s singing about a broken relationship, we want to meet the girl who caused that breakup.”

Meanwhile, ”Idol” executive producer Simon Fuller is preparing a series for next year on ABC that will search for an an all-American ”supergirl,” according to the Hollywood Reporter. The as-yet-unnamed series will pit 10 young women against each other in contests of athletics, dancing, singing, beauty, and personality. ”Today’s girls are raised to believe they have no limits, and they work extremely hard to achieve success in many areas,” said an ABC spokesperson. ”The supergirl [show] honors their efforts and gives our audience a forum in which to cheer them on.” Producers will recruit celebrities from the entertainment, sports, and fashion worlds to serve as coaches for individual supergirl competitors. Helen Slater, call your agent.

Episode Recaps

American Idol

Ryan Seacrest hosts as Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Luke Bryan guide aspiring singers on their way to superstardom.

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