An Indian-American woman has been selected as one of the finalists to audition for Oprah Winfrey's new reality series, the winner of which will get a chance to host his or her own talk show on the TV queen's network 'OWN' which will debut in January 2011.
Jasbina Ahluwalia of Oakbrook, Illinois garnered 2.7 million votes and is one of the eight finalists selected online. These eight would join another 35 hopefuls, selected through personal interviews, for final audition of the reality series 'Your OWN Show: Oprah's Search for the Next TV Star'.
Ahluwalia, 39 is a lawyer-turned-entrepreneur and a radio show host. She wants her show to empower people to be the "best version of their authentic selves" by focusing on relationships and health and wellness.
Through her show, Ahluwalia wants to help people seek a balance between fulfilling "their responsibilities as caretakers and leading healthy lives".
"The vision of my show is authenticity. As a second generation Indian-American, I want to draw on thoughts and concepts of other cultures and bring a multi-cultural perspective to our show," she said in her two-minute online video.
Out of the 43 finalists, who will audition in Los Angeles, 10 will be selected to participate in the reality series 'Oprah's Search for the Next TV Star'.
Premiering on OWN in January 2011, the reality series will see contestants competing in a "host boot camp". Challenges will range from booking interviews and researching story ideas, to successfully completing an actual screen test.
The winner will receive a 6-episode commitment for his or her own show, which will be aired on OWN later next year.
Casting directors interviewed over 6,100 contestants last month in New Jersey, Texas, California and Georgia. Of these 6100, 35 finalists were selected. Over 9,500 videos were submitted for the online auditions that garnered a total of 143 million votes.
"The response was amazing with over 15,000 people having auditioned. Oprah Winfrey is such an inspiration and motivates people to seek their dreams. This response shows the enormity of those who wish to communicate their ideas on television," the show's Executive Producer Mark Burnett said.
Winfrey had announced last year that her 25-year old daytime talk show 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' will conclude in September 2011. Her new channel 'OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network' will debut in January 2011.
The channel will air a slew of new programmes, including a global series that will take her to India and China. A total of 15 new series have been announced for OWN.
OWN is a joint venture between Winfrey's production company Harpo Inc and Discovery Communications. It will debut in approximately 80 million homes, on what is currently the Discovery Health Channel.