NBC’s ‘The Voice’ plans Austin casting call

Maroon 5’s Adam Levine is one of the coaches on ‘The Voice.’ (Tammy Perez / For the American-Statesman)

Austin is the live music capital of the world, so it only makes sense that the producers of NBC’s “The Voice” are planning a casting call here.

The show, which is gearing up for its 13th season, will be at the Austin Convention Center, 500 E. Cesar Chavez St., on May 13. (Use the Trinity Street entrance.)

It’s not the first time “The Voice” has come to Austin in search of talent. You may recall the show stopped here during its very first year on the air.

If you think you’ve got what it takes to be a contender this season, head to nbcthevoice.com to register. After getting your artist audition pass, you’ll need to prepare two a cappella songs to wow the judges – no instruments allowed!

Other audition cities this year include Los Angeles, Philadelphia and St. Louis.

‘America’s Got Talent’ auditions set for this weekend in Austin

Reality TV loves Austin, so it should come as no surprise that “America’s Got Talent” producers will be in town this weekend conducting auditions.

They’ll be at the Austin Convention Center, 500 E. Cesar Chavez St., on Saturday. You can pre-register at americasgottalentauditions.com.

Organizers recommend using the convention center’s entrance on East Fourth Street, between Trinity and Red River streets.

Howie Mandel photo (NBC)
Howie Mandel photo (NBC)

While the show had some pretty insane performers last year, host Howie Mandel told the American-Statesman he’s confident there are still plenty of entertaining acts out there.

“Nobody has to think about topping anything,” Mandel said. “Just do your thing and let us decide what is amazing and worthy. You shouldn’t have any preconceived notions.”

“America’s Got Talent” got its start in 2006 and is heading into its 12th season, a run far longer than many of its competitors.

“I don’t know that anyone could have imagined it,” Mandel said.

As producers look to keep things fresh, Mandel said Austin was a natural site for auditions.

“Austin has become the epicenter for hipness and trendiness, especially with music,” he said. “It’s a very open-minded, creative place with wonderful people.”

‘America’s Got Talent’ to feature ‘daredevil grandma’ from Austin

Nikki McBurnett (Facebook photo)
Nikki McBurnett (Facebook photo)

Another Austinite has made it onto “America’s Got Talent” this season.

Look for Nikki McBurnett on an episode set to air this week.

Producers describe McBurnett, who has been active in the local roller derby scene, as a “41-year-old daredevil grandma.”

On the show, she’ll take part in “an ‘explosive’ challenge you’ve got to see to believe,” according to a publicist.

McBurnett’s appearance comes two weeks after another Austinite popped up on the hit NBC show.

Catch “America’s Got Talent” Tuesday at 7 p.m. on KXAN.

Austinite to be featured on tonight’s ‘America’s Got Talent’

Damone Rippy (Trae Patton photo/NBC)
Damone Rippy (Trae Patton photo/NBC)

Look for an Austinite on tonight’s episode of “America’s Got Talent.”

Damone Rippy, 16, is set to show off his flyboarding skills in hopes of winning the $1 million grand prize.

Rippy, who competes nationally, said he got his start after watching flyboarding videos online.

The show airs at 7 p.m. on KXAN.

Ellen DeGeneres’ new dating show looking for Austin singles

Ellen DeGeneres (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Ellen DeGeneres (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

A new dating show executive produced by Ellen DeGeneres is scouring Austin and other Texas cities in search of sexy singles.

The show, “First Dates,” has been picked up by NBC. A premiere date hasn’t been announced just yet.

If you’re single and ready to mingle, head to firstdatescasting.popular.productions to answer a few questions.

The fine print: Contestants must be legal U.S. citizens and can’t have any felony convictions, among other restrictions. Candidates running for office won’t be considered, either.

Producers will review the responses they receive and determine who appears on the first season of “First Dates,” which will feature eight episodes. If it does well in the Nielsen ratings – and with DeGeneres involved that’s pretty much a given – expect it to be back for a second season.

Good luck, guys and gals.


Cast of NBC’s ‘Undateable’ visits Austin for SXSW

‘Undateable’ creator Bill Lawrence has some on-stage fun with Bridgit Mendler, a new addition to the sitcom, during a stop in Austin.
‘Undateable’ creator Bill Lawrence has some on-stage fun with Bridgit Mendler, a new addition to the sitcom, during a stop in Austin.

They’re “Undateable” — and proud of it.

The NBC sitcom that excels at magnifying all the quirks that have kept so many of us single for so long made its way to Austin for South by Southwest, where series creator Bill Lawrence and several cast members took the stage at Esther’s Follies for an official comedy showcase.

While they were here, they also dropped a few hints about what’s ahead during the show’s second season, which kicked off this week. There’s a new time slot, an addition to the cast and perhaps the biggest news of all: a live broadcast set for May 5.

Usually 30 minutes long, “Undateable” will expand to an hour for the live show, with two editions planned – one for the East Coast and one for the West Coast.

Lawrence, the man behind “Scrubs,” “Cougar Town” and “Spin City,” said he’s especially pleased about the new time slot, which is 8 p.m. Tuesdays. “Undateable” now airs after “The Voice,” a ratings powerhouse, and he’s hoping viewers will stick around and sample his latest show.

“There’s a nervous excitement,” he said. “If we fail, it’s our fault because we’ve got the eyeballs.”

So far, so good. The season premiere did very well, according to the TV by the Numbers website. “Undateable” was second in its time slot among viewers of all ages, with an audience of 6.43 million people. It ranked first among viewers ages 18 to 49, the demographic many advertisers covet.

The new cast member is Bridgit Mendler. She joins Bianca Kajlich, who had been the show’s only regular female presence.

“It’s really exciting to be a part of something people are believing in,” Mendler said. “This show really is like the lightning in the bottle you always hear about. The guys are all like brothers. They’re so ridiculously fun to be around.”

Returning cast members say that, in many cases, they’ve known each other for years or even decades. Those off-camera friendships have helped give “Undateable” a chemistry that many other primetime shows could only hope for.

“I keep waiting for it to end,” said Chris D’Elia, who plays Danny. “It feels too special to be happening.”

Landing a TV gig wasn’t something D’Elia said he expected, but clearly he’s enjoying it.

“I never saw myself doing this,” he said. “I thought I was too weird.”

While the goal is to make us laugh — it’s a sitcom, after all — “Undateable” does a have a warm-and-fuzzy side to it, as well, adding to its appeal.

“It’s about friends who, if they didn’t have each other, would be very, very lonely,” said David Fynn, who plays Brett.

And when you’re considered “Undateable,” there’s no shortage of times when you’re in need of some companionship.

“When the world beats you up, it’s the people around you who pick you back up,” said Brent Morin, who plays Justin.


8 p.m. Tuesday

KXAN Channel 36