Last year, one of our most popular columns was this one , in which we rounded up as many applications for reality shows as we could find. We're asked all the time how to audition for this or that show.
Some shows have easy-to-find Web pages, and keep their casting info prominent year-round. Others are harder to find, or only list their casting information for that short period of time when they are actively looking for new contestants.
We're often asked how contestants on brand-new shows find out about them, and there's really no one way. Some shows run TV ads. Some are mentioned in magazines. Easiest of all, some networks have online casting pages that mention new shows as well as old. We've highlighted new shows below under a special heading for those adventurous types who want to try to be cast for a show no one has seen yet.
It seems obvious, but if you're really interested in making it on a show, you should read every word of the application information as if you're Jack Bauer and it's telling you how to defuse a bomb. If you don't follow the instructions, your application is likely to get deleted, and that means no million dollars for you. If you're really serious about pursuing a show, you'd be smart to dedicate some time to your application.
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Here's our latest roundup of shows.
"American Idol": Obviously, the show isn't looking for singers now, as it just finished airing audition episodes taped late last year. You can still read through the application materials online here, but make your calendars for late summer if you're determined to audition next season.
"American Inventor": If the e-mail we get is any indication, everyone out there has an invention. The show's casting began March 18with open calls in six cities.
"America's Next Top Model": The show is not casting now, since the eighth season (sorry, "cycle") is about to premiere, on Feb. 28.
"Amazing Race": The All-Star season has just started airing, but "Amazing Race" keeps its applications online year-round. The latest one says applications were due January 17, but bookmark the site for the future.
"Apprentice": The current L.A. season did its casting last summer, but if you really want to work for Trump, bookmark this site and check it again in a few months. The show is supposedly coming back for another season after this one.
"Bachelor": Want to be "The Bachelor," or date him? Here's that show's casting page. Looks like they don't have a way to apply to be "The Bachelorette." Even if they do another season of that show, they'll likely just pluck the woman from a previous "Bachelor" cast.
"Bad Girls Club": Like its Bunim-Murray comrades "Real World" and "Road Rules," this show is accepting applications on an ongoing basis.
"Beauty and the Geek": The CW show is currently casting for season four, so if you're a gorgeous but dim girl or a smart, socially inept guy, check it out. Weirdly, no deadline seems to be given.
"Big Brother": We're always asked: When is "Big Brother" coming back? And we always reply: In summer, same as always. "Big Brother" doesn't list a deadline on its application, instead saying that information will be posted on CBS.com 10 days before time's up. But they're currently planning semifinalist and finalist interviews for May and June 2007, so we'd guess now's a great time to get your application in.
"Biggest Loser": Ready to shed those pounds? Apply here to be a "Loser."
"Cowboy U": CMT's "wanna be a cowboy" reality show is not currently casting, but future opportunities will be posted on this CMT page. Other CMT show casting is also listed on the same page, including shows called "I'm a Competitive Eater" and "Addicted to the Dukes of Hazzard."
"Extreme Makeover" (plastic surgery edition): As we reported earlier, this show did return last year, but was canceled after one episode. ABC says it has no plans to air any new episodes, although they did not address the online application we found, which had a Jan. 31, 2007 deadline.
"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition":This page has all the details on how to nominate your own family or another deserving family for a home makeover. And here's an article about a memo from early 2006 that describes the specific issues the show was looking for, at least at that time.
"Hell's Kitchen": Apply for future seasons here.
"Identity": Another game show, more or less, but NBC is seeking both contestants and "strangers," that is, people with unusual jobs or accomplishments, to participate on the new season of the guess-who-I-am show. Game show "1 vs. 100" is also casting.
"Last Comic Standing": No funny business. Open calls are planned throughout February and March in New York, Minneapolis, San Antonio, Tempe, and even abroad! We're often emailed by Canadians complaining that they don't qualify for many American reality shows, but here's a chance for the Canucks, Aussie and Brits to break through.
MTV shows: We cover "Real World," "Road Rules," "Pimp My Ride" and "Bad Girls Club" separately in this list, but MTV has a ton of other shows looking for contestants. Their hard-to-follow casting page is here.
"Nanny 911": Are you living through a parenting emergency? Apply for the FOX show here.(Down a little further in the list, we provide information for similar show "Supernanny.")
"Pimp My Ride": The car-makeover show is one of many listed on MTV's casting page.
"Project Runway": At press time, the show had not announced a fourth season, though we're pretty sure one is coming. The only link we have is this one, but we'll update it if there's news of another season.
"Real World" and "Road Rules": These two Bunim-Murray shows are always accepting applications, it seems. And Michael Martin, who books the casts' off-the-show appearances, offers his tips for getting your tape seen here.
"Rock Star": When asked at the TV Critics' January press tour, CBS entertainment president Nina Tassler said she didn't know if the show would be back. The season two casting page is still live, but don't get confused--those March dates are March 2006 dates. If we hear any news, we'll update.
"So You Think You Can Dance?": The popular dancing show is holding open calls in New York, Chicago, L.A. and Atlanta, starting March 1, 2007. Here's the casting page.
"Supernanny": Here's the application, stressed-out parents. See also "Nanny 911," listed above.
"Survivor": Applications were due Jan. 30, 2007, but bookmark the application site for the future, as it seems to maintain the same URL.
"Top Chef": What's cooking? The open call dates listed online have passed, as has the Feb. 5 date for submitting applications. The site tantalizingly promises more dates to come, though, so if you think you're the next Harold or Ilan, bookmark this site and check it often.
"Trading Spouses": Want a new mommy? FOX's "Trading Spaces" application is here.
"What Not to Wear": The show is casting for its regular fashion disasters, plus has a few special shows in the works. They're looking for future brides, women who have class reunions coming up, and married folks who want to redo their look to please a spouse.
"Wife Swap":Apply here to try on a new family's lifestyle for 10 days.
"Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?": Mark Burnett and FOX will debut this new game show Feb. 27 and Feb. 28 after "American Idol." The show's Web page doesn't list specific casting information, but promises a full site "coming soon."
"Character Fantasy": USA Network is casting people who want to be transformed into a favorite celebrity or fictional character. More details are here.
"Character Road Trip": This show comes to you: USA Network's other new show sends its hosts around the country looking for "great characters that have unique qualities, hidden talents and unforgettable personalities." Application info is here.
"Couples Show": We're guessing this isn't the new ABC show's real name, but it sounds kind of like a Dr. Phil-type couples counseling show. Application info is here.(Note: A reader says the CBS e-mail address given keeps bouncing mail.)
"Crowned: The Mother of All Pageants": The CW is looking for mother-daughter pairs to compete in a beauty pageant together. Open casting calls are planned for numerous cities beginning March 3; details and an application are online.
"Easy Money": Apply for this new ABC game show here.
"Fix My Husband": ABC is planning a sort of one-week boot camp for husbands. Application info is here.
MTV shows: MTV's casting page has a mix of old and new shows. They're hunting for "Hills" fans, high-school students in Brooklyn, shy girls, pop-culture junkies and more.
"Great American Dream Vote": This should be of interest to folks who clamored to be on Amy Grant's "Three Wishes" show. Contestants on "The Great American Dream Vote" come on the show and share the dream they want fulfilled, and the audience votes on who should get their chance.
"On The Lot": Wannabe filmmakers who hope to win a $1 million deal with DreamworksPictures are all abuzz about this show, but the deadline was Feb. 16. You can still watch some of the submissions online, though.
"Set for Life": Another new ABC game show that awards winners monthly or yearly cash payments. Application info is here.
Unnamed Bunim-Murray show: The company behind "Real World" and "Road Rules" has a new show planned. It sounds an awful lot like their other shows. In their words "Do you want to ditch your hometown and follow your dream of being a famous actor/actress, model dancer, host, or TV star? If you've ever wanted to make it big in Hollywood, this is your chance to become a star." Check out the casting page (click on CASTING, then on LATEST) for details, but you must be in the 18-23 age range.
VH-1 shows: VH-1 is casting for numerous shows, with all the information linked up on this Web page. (The page also includes some of the CMT opportunities mentioned earlier.) One show is looking for couples planning a wedding that will cost over $300,000, the thought of which kind of makes us sick, but that's our age of excess.
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