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HGTV Looking for a Design Star

4/26/2006 7:36 AM Eastern

New York -- Home & Garden Television is taking on the reality-competition genre this summer, pitting designers against each other to win a grand prize of having their own show on the network, officials said Wednesday.

HGTV Design Star,an eight-week series,will have 10 aspiring designers competing to win over viewers and an expert judging panel, HGTV president Judy Girard said at Scripps Networks’ upfront presentation here.

The series, which will debut July 23, will be hosted by Clive Pearse, who was on hand for the upfront breakfast at Cipriani. Pearse is also the host of HGTV’s real-estate series, Designed to Sell.

At the gathering for advertisers and media buyers, Pearse said that the departing line to losing contestants as they exit HGTV Design Star --the equivalent of The Apprentice’s “You’re fired” -- will be, “Your show has been canceled.”

Scripps has done more than one-dozen upfront presentations across the country for its stable of services, which have covered not only HGTV but Food Network, DIY, Fine Living and Great American Country.

During the session here, ad-sales officials for the various networks emphasized cross-platform opportunities, combining TV and online, and viewers’ trust of the channels and the products they see advertised on them.

Food trotted out new talent Nigella Lawson, who will host Nigella Feasts this fall on the channel. Food was coming off a good weekend, having broken its past records when it scored a 1.9 rating for the second-season finale of The Next Food Network Star.The telecast, which aired April 23, attracted more than 2.5 million total viewers.

Winner Guy Fieri will debut in his own six-episode series starting June 25.

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