Looking to catch some of that American Idol lightning in its own ratings-challenged prime time bottle, NBC has struck a deal with Simon Cowell and Idol producer FremantleMedia for its own TV talent show.
The series will let viewers, with the help of celebrity judges, decide who should headline a Las Vegas show.
NBC is looking at nine episodes, most likely an hour long. Cowell will not be one of the judges or appear on camera. He will be creator and executive producer.
Since the deal was just closed Wednesday night, specific details of the format are still being worked out, including where and when the competition will take place and even the title of the show."Simon has his finger on the pulse of pop culture," said NBC Entertainment President Kevin Reilly. "This show will be a shot of adrenaline to the variety format with Simon's gift of discovering untapped talent, both great and uniquely not so great."
For his part, Cowell said he was hoping to find the next Siegfried & Roy.
The series is targeted for summer, when NBCU is also launching an online-only talent contest series, StarTomorrow.
The amateur performers, who could be singers, dancers, or comedians (Idol is strictly singers) , will perform for celebrity judges for a chance to advance.--Ben Grossman contributed to this story.