NEW YORK — Oprah Winfrey wants to give an undiscovered talent a chance to follow in her footsteps on her new cable network.
The talk show host is teaming up with reality TV producer Mark Burnett on a show searching for the next big TV personality. "Your Own Show: Oprah's Search for the Next TV Star" will air on the Oprah Winfrey Network beginning in January, the same month of OWN's launch.
Winfrey is ending "The Oprah Winfrey Show" in September 2011 after 25 seasons.
In a phone interview from Los Angeles, Burnett — the man behind such shows as "Survivor" and "The Apprentice" — said the premise fits perfectly into what people like to watch: Regular people achieving extraordinary things.
"The landscape and acceptance of ordinary people on television is widely accepted ... Much in the way 'American Idol' finds unknown people (to be recording stars) there's no reason we can't find someone who deserves their own show," he said.
Aspiring hosts can upload videos to Oprah.com under categories like traditional talk show, cooking, health and wellness, and interior design. It's possible to also watch and vote on submitted videos. In-person casting calls are happening this month in Atlanta, Dallas and Orange County, California.
Sheletta Brundidge, a talk radio personality and blogger in St. Paul, Minn., plans to be in Dallas for the open casting, pitching a show about marriage mentors.
"People have professional mentors to guide them through their careers, so why not have marriage mentors to help young couples who are struggling with their new lives?" Brundidge said Monday.
Burnett said the most important advice he can give someone who wants to be considered is to be real.
"Try to be authentically yourself. Show energy," he said. "Donald Trump gave me the greatest advice with 'The Apprentice': Find people with the greatest energy source ... you'll be hard-pressed to show me someone who has their own show on TV who is not energetic and who has charisma."
The host of "Your Own Show" has yet to be announced.