CNN’s sister network TBS is set to debut a new late-night new series, Funny Or Die Presents America’s Next Weatherman. The show premieres August 8 at 11 p.m. ET and will be Mark Burnett. The eight-episode competition show features 12 competitors vying for a $100,000 and an appearance on CNN forecasting the national weather for the morning show New Day.
“It’s been such a good time working with Funny Or Die,” said Burnett. “This will be the first time I’ve poked a little fun – actually a lot of fun – at what I am best known for. It’s a real wink to our audience as we look for the next great meteorologist. The funniest part is that it turns out that these are actually terrific weathercasters.”
The show will be hosted by Matt Oberg and will be judged by weather personalities Johnny Mountain and Jillian Barberie. The show aims to marry “the comedic and subversive voice of Funny Or Die with the production value and compelling storytelling of a show from Burnett.”
Not everyone is happy with the show, as KTLA entertainment reporter Sam Rubin says the idea was stolen from the Los Angeles CW affiliate. Jessica Holmes was discovered on The Audition back in 2005 and is now one of the station’s morning anchors.
The TBS version doesn’t appear to be a gimmick, as New Day prides itself on staying away from such tomfoolery and the contestants seems to have legitimate backgrounds.
The contestants for America’s Next Weatherman include:
- Jennifer “Jazzy T” Williams (32), of Buffalo, N.Y., a radio personality with 10 years of on-air experience and a degree in telecommunications and digital media arts.
- Frank Margini (32) of Old Tappan, N.J., a fitness trainer and former member of Air Force with a degree in criminal justice and only 5% body fat.
- Jeff Forgeron (25) of San Diego, Calif., an Associated Press writer for Weather Underground who has a degree in meteorology.
- Miller Robson (42) of Columbus, Ga., a former wrestler and local meteorologist/anchor who is working toward a degree in meteorology.
- Jenn Barlow (28) of San Diego, Calif., a “sneaky smart blonde” with seven years experience as a television reporter and host.
- Mackenzie Bart (23), of Columbus, Ohio, Miss Ohio 2014 who is currently working on her degree in atmospheric science.
- Ron Hilliard (28), of Detroit, Mich., a news intern and SKYWARN-trained weather spotter with a degree in the interdisciplinary humanities of communications, theater and Spanish.
- Michelle Rotella (27) of Germantown, Md., a meteorologist who graduated from high school at 16 before earning a bachelor’s degree in meteorology.
- Aubrey Evans (25), of Las Vegas, Nev., a model and skilled ice skater with an abundance of life experience to bring to the competition.
- Christina Faraone (26) of Walden, N.Y., a Marine meteorologist technician whose master’s thesis was on the role of weather in aviation.
- David Collins (34) from Deland, Fla., a Navy veteran who graduated at the top of his meteorology class and spent four years as an operational weather briefer.
- Drew Logan (26) of Westlake Village, Calif., a pastor and former college football player who recently completed his master’s degree.