Politics will invade reality TV with “American Candidate,” a Showtime series beginning this summer.
In the 10-episode series from filmmaker R.J. Cutler, a dozen people will compete to prove they have the right stuff to be U.S. president. A Web site allowing for online application launched Thursday.
“American Candidate” will put the players through a series of challenges intended to demonstrate what goes into the making of a presidential candidate, Showtime said.
The field will be narrowed through audience participation and polling to two contenders, who will face off in the final episode. The show will play against the backdrop of the authentic presidential race.
“While there is no doubt that this will be highly entertaining, we believe it will be an examination of the process and address serious political issues,” Cutler said.
An air date was not announced.
Potential contestants have to meet the constitutional requirements for the presidency, including being 35 or older and a native-born U.S. citizen.
The Federal Election Commission recently issued an opinion that the show’s content will not violate federal election laws.
The cable channel picked up the series after the FX channel backed away from plans for a somewhat more elaborate version that it later deemed too expensive to produce.
Jay Roach, director of comedy films “Austin Powers in Goldmember” and “Meet the Parents,” and Tom Lassally are executive producers of the Showtime series.