- The Washington Times - Monday, February 11, 2008

‘Idol’ at Disney World

The long arm of “American Idol” has extended its reach to Disney World.

Disney Parks and Resorts has inked a deal with 19 Entertainment and FremantleMedia, producers of the Fox mega-hit, to create an attraction at Florida’s Disney World based on the show, Variety reports. The attraction will be housed at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park and will open later this year.

Parkgoers will be able to audition by performing in video kiosks. Next, a Disney Hollywood Studios producer will determine who will be made over and go on the “Idol” stage, where those chosen will perform in front of a panel of judges. Performers with the highest votes will then compete in an end-of-day grand finale show. But winning the theme park competition won’t lead to contestants appearing on the Fox series, producers stressed.

Producers have considered the concept for about a year and mulled whether to set up smaller stages at multiple parks or focus on a larger experience at one venue.

“We wanted to make ‘Idol’ a year-round experience,” said Keith Hindle, executive vice president of FremantleMedia Enterprises.

Financial terms of the licensing deal were not disclosed, but 19 Entertainment and Fremantle will oversee the design and construction of the attraction, Variety said. To date, producers have no plans to set up an “American Idol” attraction at Disneyland in California.

Choice pickins

Miley Cyrus might have won last weekend’s box office war, but a green ogre one-upped her with youngsters.

“Shrek the Third” took four nominations, followed by “Hannah Montana” and its star with three for the upcoming Nickelodeon 21st Annual Kids Choice Awards. Actor Jack Black will return as host for the March 29 festivities.

The DreamWorks’ animated “Shrek” received nominations for favorite movie and the voice work of Mike Meyers, Cameron Diaz and Eddie Murphy. Miley, 15, got nods for best TV actress and female singer, while her Disney Channel show “Hannah Montana” got a favorite TV show nod.

Young viewers will determine the winners by voting online beginning March 3.

On tap tonight

“Crossroads” (8 p.m., Country Music Television) — “Raising Sand,” the collaboration between legendary Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant and bluegrass star Alison Krauss, was one of last year’s most anticipated releases. One song from the album, “Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On),” got a Grammy nod. You can see the pair perform on tonight’s edition of “Crossroads” on CMT at 8. Among the musical selections: songs from “Raising Sand,” as well as some of their individual works, including Led Zep classics “Black Dog” and “When the Levee Breaks” and Miss Krauss and Union Station’s “The Boy Who Wouldn’t Hoe Corn.” Songwriter and producer T. Bone Burnett joins the onstage collaboration.

Compiled by Kelly Jane Torrance and Robyn-Denise Yourse from staff and wire reports

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