NBC (ended 2006)
The antidote for the cutthroat vote-'em-off-the-island reality shows (i.e. Survivor and Big Brother) and brutal talent shows (American Idol) so popular in the early 2000's was this sweet show, in which fresh faced, talented youngsters age three to 15 strutted their stuff before an adoring audience. The kids were divided into three categories, three to seven, eight to 12, and 13 to 15, with three contestants in each category competing each week. They could do anything-sing, dance, rap, play an instrument-while parents lovingly watched and boyish host Mario Lopez and the audience clapped, laughed and offered encouragement. At the end of the performances in each category the judges punched in their scores for talent and showmanship, and the contestant with the highest average score advanced to the next round. There was no cutting remarks or evaluations, although at the end of each round the judges offered a few comments on how great the kids were. Lance Bass (of *NSYNC fame) was the solo permanent judge, joined each week by two guest judges such as rapper Sisqo, former Brady Buncher Maureen McCormick, Jermaine Jackson and Daisy Fuentes.
Almost every kid in the contest was rated a 9 or better on a ten-point scale, and make no mistake they were quite talented. An endless parade pint- rappers and tiny tykes with booming voices were seen each week. Occasionally one was a bit bizarre, such as the spike-haired white teenager who gave an impassioned delivery of "We Shall Overcome" while black rapper Sisqo looked on in disbelief.
The honor of being AMTK's first winner, fell to a mega-talented young lady, 12 year old guitarist/songwriter Cheyenne Kimball, who took home the Grand Prize of $50,000.
The final NBC episode was a special contest & that it was called America's Most Talented Senior, where 10 seniors (from 60+) competed for a $25,000 prze.
Show History: This show was originally a limited-run Friday night summer series on NBC in 2003. After it's first season it was not picked up for the fall line-up. In early May 2004 PAX announced the series return as a part of their 2004-2005 season schedule.
In the Pax version, Dave Coulier became the new host, along with three new regular judges. This time, 7 contestants competed each week & the winner won $1,000 + a shot at the championship for a family trip to Jamaica and other nice prizes. If there was a tie (happened many times), the celebrities would write down the name of who they liked.
Season Two Promo: From the schoolyard to the stage come "America's Most Talented Kids!" The one-hour musical variety show puts the spotlight on amazing child performers who compete for a chance at stardom. Bringing a unique element to the competition, these fresh, young contestants will be judged by people they can really relate to – today's hottest child stars.
Nielsen Ratings: Season One (Mid-season 2003): #63 9.70 millionmoreless