One question is sent in to Ask the Reality TV Experts more than any other. The wording varies from writer to writer, but the subject is the same: When can I audition for XYZ reality show?
We've written about this before, but shows come and go so quickly that it's a topic we can easily revisit.
Some readers want tips for auditioning, but most just want to know when and where to show up to give it a shot. It's easier to answer the latter question, anyway. Tips for auditioning vary greatly with each show, and no amount of coaching can give someone an "American Idol"-ready voice or an "America's Next Top Model" face and body. And shows that have less-obvious criteria for choosing contestants can be tough to offer tips for as well. Despite the fact that many shows claim they're not casting to fill niches, or for conflict, those of us who've seen more than one episode of any given show know that's often the case.
Many shows let you apply via mail or online, though some require you to make a videotape of yourself, and others require auditioners to show up in person. We're often surprised by how many people write in to claim they want more than anything to get on a certain show, but complain that they don't live anywhere near an audition site. Shows rarely hold live auditions outside of major cities, so if you're unwilling to drive or fly to an audition spot, you're unlikely to be considered devoted enough to get on the show.
While we may not be able to offer you much help once you get to the auditions, we can at least offer a roundup of who's seeking contestants.
This week, we'll let you know what ABC and NBC shows are seeking contestants. Next week, we'll catch up with other networks.
ABC shows: Brides, brats and bachelorettesCheck out ABC's casting page for details on all of these auditions:
Seeking an "Extreme" experience? ABC wants people to apply for "Extreme Makeover," "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," and the new "Extreme Makeover: Wedding Edition," which promises to "fulfill the wedding dreams of one worthy couple."
Parents of brats (OK, they don't quite say that) are invited to audition for "Supernanny."
A new "Bachelor" is scheduled for the fall, but ABC has a notice looking for singles to participate in either "The Bachelorette" or "The Bachelor."
Hubby bugging you? "Fix My Husband" is seeking married couples over age 21 from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut as well as Minneapolis-St. Paul. Over the course of a week, they promise to impart "priceless pointers that will enhance [your] marriage."
People in need of a life-changing operation are being sought for a show called "Miracle Workers."
Those who eat poorly and want to change their diets can apply for "You Are What You Eat."
Enjoy taking vacations? (Who doesn't, ABC?) A new show listed simply as "Vacation Show" is looking for families to "show America what's great about your vacation."
"Vacation Show" comes from the makers of "Wife Swap," which is also looking for new families. In case you've never seen the show, women from vastly different lifestyles (rich vs. poor, liberall vs. conservative) swap lives for a week.
NBC shows: Trump, treasure hunters, three wishes
NBC also has one page for all its reality-show casting:
I haven't seen mention of auditions for the Martha Stewart version of "The Apprentice" recently, but if you're determined to work for Donald Trump, 15 cities will host "Apprentice" live casting calls for his version of the show. I happened to be shopping at a Seattle mall when that city hosted a call last year, and the line of would-be Apprentici was enormous: Bring a book. Perhaps Trump's. You can also apply by sending in a tape, but the deadline is this Thursday.
Note: Speaking of Martha Stewart, she is seeking terrible cooks for her non-"Apprentice" show, "Martha," a nationally syndicated talk show. Nominees are asked to send a three-minutes-or-shorter videotape of themselves cooking (badly) to Worst Cooks in America Contest, “Martha, ”MSLO Productions, Inc., P.O. Box 1942, New York, NY 10116. You can also email WorstCooks@yahoo.com.
Need to be more stylin'? "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" is seeking straight men, both simgle and married, to be made over by the Fab Five.
Hmm, "Treasure Hunters" sounds a lot like "Amazing Race." NBC has a new show planned in which teams of three compete in "television's first global treasure hunt."
Is your family one of those where every kid is overscheduled with four or more extracurriculars, and you spend more time in the carpool than at the dinner table? NBC wants you to audition for "America's Busiest Families." Yeah, like you have time.
Everyone wants a fairy godmother. "Three Wishes" is a wish-granting show that somehow involves singer Amy Grant. This reminds me of when you were a kid and you always thought that the first wish you would make was for unlimited wishes.
Wondering about NBC's "Biggest Loser"? You missed your chance this time around, the show already has two seasons in the works. If those seasons are a success, they'll likely put out a call for more wannabe losers.
Q: Do you know when the next “Amazing Race” will come on? And do you know what it is going to be about this time around? —Nick, Bronx, NY
A: The next season of “The Amazing Race”—the show’s eighth — is in production now, and will debut this fall (an exact date has yet to be announced). For the first time, the series will have teams of four — all of which will consist of family members. The definition of “family” was broad, and that could include grandparents, fiancees, or other relatives. The show may also have racers as young as eight.
Additionally, the Game Show Network (GSN) has acquired the rights to all existing seasons of the show—a total of 110 episodes so far. On July 11, the network will begin airing the first season, one episode per evening. Thus, an entire season will be over in just a couple of weeks.
And if that isn’t enough: “The Amazing Race 1” will finally come to DVD on Sept. 20. Expect lots of bonus features and unaired footage to be included. —A.D.
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper is MSNBC.com's Television Editor. is a writer and teacher who publishes , a daily summary of reality TV news.