This is it! Pack your bags and set them on the front porch, 'cause you're gonna be a star, baby! Fox's self-esteem-shattering reality TV hit American Idol is holding open auditions for its sixth season this Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. for a limited number of Charleston contestants, on a first come, first served basis. Maybe you can join local talents Quiana Parler and Josh Strickland as an Idol national finalist. Parler made it to the semifinals, and she's since toured as a backup singer with Clay Aiken and Kelly Clarkson. Semifinalist Strickland landed a national tour of Rent, and he's now starring in the lead role of the musical Tarzan on Broadway.
But before you jet off to L.A., you'll first have to prove your worth in the parking lot at Jones Ford in North Chuck (hey, nobody said the road to stardom was glamorous). Judges from B92 and FOX24 will choose one winner from Saturday's auditions to continue on to the auditions in Memphis on Sept. 3 for a cut-the-line, guaranteed audition in front of Idol producers (not Simon, Randy, and Paula – they come later, assuming you make it past the producers). For complete contest rules, check www.wtat24.com. Best case scenario: you're the next Carrie Underwood or Taylor Hicks. Worst case: you're ridiculed, jeered, and humiliated on national TV. Either way, you're famous, baby! –Patrick Sharbaugh
Speaking of Fox, say goodbye to UPN and say hello to MyNetworkTV, Fox's new alternative prime-time network, set to launch the first week of September. The new network replaces UPN on channel 36, via the rabbit ears, and on Comcast channel 13. MyNetworkTV will continue to run newer syndicated stuff, like According to Jim, One on One, Friends, and Girlfriends. But the network will also be offering a pair of new "serialized dramas," a.k.a primetime soaps, Monday through Saturday evenings, with weekly recap shows every Saturday. The original shows include Desire, about a pair of libidinous Jersey boys on the run from the mafia in Beverly Hills, and Fashion House, starring Bo Derek (apparently she's still alive) as a sexy, angry divorcée who realizes her dream of becoming a promiscuous fashion designer. Actress Tatum O'Neal has even joined the team. In Art of Betrayal, the Rescue Me regular plays Blythe, a woman scorned when her husband leaves her and their two sons to marry another honey for money. Twenty years later, she devises a plan to utterly destroy him. Grab the popcorn and gather the kids! MyNetworkTV premieres on Sept. 5. –PS