The Launch of NBC’s Summer Shows

Photo by Margie Barron

From l, Sharon Osbourne, Howie Mandel, and Nick Cannon from “America’s Got Talent.”

In addition to broadcasting this year’s Summer Olympics from London, NBC has a slew of new shows coming to heat up the sun and fun season. At the recent NBC Summer press day the network brought out a great lineup of crazy hosts and celebrities who chatted away about their shows.

Before its ratings-grabbing premiere last week, the folks from the hit variety show America’s Got Talent took center stage in the ballroom of the Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena. Judges Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel answered a lot of questions about working with Howard Stern, who was absent from the dais. Mandel described Stern as “very bright. Nobody gets to that height of success without knowing what you’re doing. When you see him on the show he’s edgy and brutally honest, with good constructive criticism, but also compassionate and emotional. And he is so serious and passionate about finding a million dollar star.”

All types of performers are trying to showcase their talents and hope to be the winning discovery with the help of the judges. But it’s host Nick Cannon who has become the contestants’ best friend. “I’m absolutely proud about that,” Nick told me. “I call myself the cheerleader on the side of the stage. I’ve been in their shoes. I came up in the world of talent shows. And I know this is the person’s biggest moment in a lifetime. Sometimes the people concerned about doing the television show, with ratings and what time lunch is, forget that. I always try to connect with the nervous performers. Even the ones who can be a little kooky, I embrace them because they think they’re terrific. So why shouldn’t the rest of us?” For a show hosted by someone cute and kooky you’ll have to tune in Love in the Wild, premiering June 7 with Jenny McCarthy at the helm of the wild adventure relationship show. There are surprises and twists in store for the gathering of single guys and gals as they try to find love in the tropical setting of the Dominican Republic.

Jenny signed on because she thought that Love in the Wild had many of the elements of her hit Singled Out dating show, “plus more pizzazz, comedy, and some drama as everyone looks for romance while using their wilderness skills.”

Couples go through rigorous challenges to win awards and the chance to be with the date of their choice. Jenny said, “In this show you are forced to see who the person really is as you go through the adventure. It reminds me of the movie Romancing the Stone.”

The new hospital drama Saving Hope also premieres June 7. It follows doctors and patients through the eyes of Hope-Zion’s chief of surgery, Charlie Harris (Michael Shanks), who happens to be in a coma. The comatose doctor explores the hospital in spirit form, as his surgeon-fiancée Alex Reid (Erica Durance) saves lives on a daily basis with the rest of the staff, including hottie Daniel Gillies (Vampire Diaries).

Erica said that although there is the medical side to the show, “at its heart is a love story. I think that there’s something in me that loves that side, and all the angst and drama that can happen within that. The title says it all, Saving Hope. It’s about holding on to hope.”

Speaking of holding on, the heart-racing obstacle course show American Ninja Warrior airs Mondays on NBC, and Sundays on G4. It has comical hosts Matt Iseman and Jonny Moseley (an Olympic Gold Medalist) narrating the thrilling competition that is based on the global-hit Japanese show. Matt and Jonny said they hope to find the first American Ninja Warrior and crown him the ultimate athlete. In order to do that, the top competitors must survive the punishing four-stage obstacle course.

It is truly unbelievable to watch the grit and determination of firemen, cops, school teachers, and other everyday heroes who tackle the course, which is the size of three football fields. We’ll see the back stories of the people and their training to better understand the mindset of the athletes, Matt explained. “It’s like Don Quixote tilting at windmills. They are taking on the impossible.”

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