UPDATED: E!, which is holding its upfront presentation today, has picked up Opening Act, a new talent competition headlined by American Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe, R&B singer Mary J. Blige and producer Antonina Armato from Rock Mafia. Additionally, the cable network has greenlighted a reality series starring Kevin Jonas for summer and has given the long-gestating Whitney Cummings talk show a pickup as a weekly half-hour series titled Love You, Mean It With Whitney Cummings. E! also is unveiling a new look, logo and tagline (Pop Of Culture). The new branding campaign, part of the transformation of the channel under the leadership of NBC Uni cable maven Bonnie Hammer, will kick off on July 9 with the premiere of Opening Act.
In Opening Act, Lythgoe, Blige and Armato will comb the Internet to find talented amateurs and give them a chance to open for an A-list music star. Music acts on board to take in aspiring musicians to open for one show on their current tours are Nicki Minaj, Rod Stewart, LMFAO, Brad Paisley, Jason Aldean, Jason Mraz and Gym Class Heroes. The unsuspecting band or solo acts will get the news of their big break in person by TV personality Olivia Lee (The Tonight Show With Jay Leno). They will immediately be brought to Hollywood for an extreme ‘performance boot camp’, intense mentoring sessions with top industry heavyweights, leading to their one-night-only performance opening a major concert. Produced by Nigel Lythgoe Prods., Opening Act premieres July 9. Nigel Lythgoe, Steve Schnur, Simon Lythgoe, and Kary McHoul are executive producing.
Produced by Ryan Seacrest Prods., the 10-episode, half-hour Married To Jonas chronicles the lives of Kevin Jonas, a third of the Jonas brothers, and his wife Danielle. The series premieres August 19.
Cummings’ talk show, which had been in development at E! for almost two years, will air Wednesdays at 10:30 PM, paired with the network’s staple The Soup. Love You will take on pop culture, celebrity news and topical stories. On the show, Cummings, who got her break on E!’s late-night talk show Chelsea Lately, will be joined by a sidekick, Julian McCullough. Love You is produced by Handler and Tom Brunelle’s Borderline Amazing Prods., with Handler, Cummings and Brunelle exec producing. The pickup of Cummings’ E! talk show comes as she is awaiting word on the future of her NBC freshman comedy series Whitney, which is on the bubble. CBS’ freshman 2 Broke Girls, which she co-created, has been renewed for next season.
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