The “American Idol” of Design. Kind Of.

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We saw the promo for “American Inventor” during the Oscars and got pretty excited–they’ve finally equated the ability to design a product with other talents like singing and dancing with stars. Don’t worry, it will still be as captivating as those other “American” shows, crying included. It’s even produced by the heartless Simon Cowell.

“American Inventor is the biggest search for the next great invention with wide consumer appeal…Envision the Cabbage Patch Kids, George Foreman Grill, Post-It or Rubik’s Cube. A panel of expert judges will narrow down the initial entries to a group of finalists, who will each be given $50,000 to develop their product, refine it and take it to the next level. This is a show that’s going to make the American dream come true for one person — taking his/her idea, vision and creativity and helping to turn it into a mass produced product that will be in every American home — but in the end it will be up to America to call in and vote on which invention is worthy of the one million dollar prize.”

And they’re bringing in some pretty cool ad people to judge: Ed Evangelista, ECD at JWT, and Mary Lou Quinlan, formerly of NW Ayer, who we saw speak a long time ago when our malleable minds were in college and dreaming of unbridled success in advertising. Thursday, March 16 at 8/7c.