Two years after Milwaukee's Danny Gokey made the first "American Idol" cut in Kansas City, Fox's top-rated singing competition is coming to Gokey's hometown in search of new talent.
Fox announced this morning that Milwaukee's Bradley Center is one of six locations around the country, with the "cattle call" audition set for July 21, a Wednesday.
Generally, the celebrity judges return at a later date to see some of the auditioners who have made the initial cut.
The age limit has been lowered to 15 for the 10th season of "Idol." The top age remains 28.
No other details of the auditions were available this morning.
Milwaukee was in the running last year, but lost out to Chicago -- where auditions produced both winner Lee DeWyze and second-place finisher Crystal Bowersox.
The other audition locations are Nashville's Bridgestone Arena on July 17; New Orleans on July 26; Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J, on Aug. 3; Austin, Texas' Frank Erwin Center on Aug. 11; and San Francisco's AT&T Park on Aug. 19.
A production team was in Milwaukee about six weeks ago, scouting locations for both the auditions and other shooting.
Dave Fantle, vice president for public relations for Visit Milwaukee calls it "significant " -- especially when paired with shooting for the big-screen sequel to "Transformers" the week before.
"You can get visibility on the No. 1 show on TV," He said. "You look at the real numbers, it's 700 hotel room nights."
Fantle credits Gokey -- and Gokey Day coverage -- for convincing Fox to come to Milwaukee. He calls Gokey the "lynchpin" of the effort to convince "Idol" to hold auditions here.
"American Idol" last came to Milwaukee in May 2009, filming Gokey's return home after he made it to third place in the eighth season of the show. He was cut the following week, with Adam Lambert coming in second and Kris Allen winning the crown.
On TV: Kenosha's Ryan Knight, 23, a former hockey player for the Kenosha Knights and the Fond du Lac Bears, is one of he eight roomies for the next season of MTV's "Real World." The second show from New Orleans debuts June 30. Hollywood Life describes him as a "player" fighting an addiction to painkillers after a hockey injury.
- Channel 6 says Nicole Koglin and Rob Haswell will join Katrina Cravy as hosts of the Fox station's new 9 a.m. program launching this summer. There's still no name for the show nicknamed "That New Show."
- Larry King hosts a two-hour telethon at 7 tonight on CNN to raise funds for the response to oil catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico. Among the celebs participating: Robert Redford, Sting, Justin Bieber and Cameron Diaz.
- ABC has pulled "Happy Town" from the Wednesday night lineup -- again. The final two episodes will air on a Saturday night in July.
Ellen takes charge: Here's a look at what happens when Ellen DeGeneres drops in to your newscast, It happened last week at Chicago's NBC affiliate, WMAQ-TV:
Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for OnMilwaukee.com. He's been a journalist for 30 years, starting in 1979 as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary wire service that's the reputed source of the journalistic maxim "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." He spent a couple years in the mean streets of his native Chicago, and then moved on to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and USA Today, before coming to the Milwaukee Journal in 1986.
A general assignment reporter, Cuprisin traveled Eastern Europe on several projects, starting with a look at Poland after five years of martial law, and a tour of six countries in the region after the Berlin Wall opened and Communism fell. He spent six weeks traversing the lands of the former Yugoslavia in 1994, linking Milwaukee Serbs, Croats and Bosnians with their war-torn homeland.
In the fall of 1994, a lifetime of serious television viewing earned him a daily column in the Milwaukee Journal (and, later the Journal Sentinel) focusing on TV and radio. For 15 years, he has chronicled the changes rocking broadcasting, both nationally and in Milwaukee, an effort he continues at OnMilwaukee.com.
When he's not watching TV, Cuprisin enjoys tending to his vegetable garden in the backyard of his home in Whitefish Bay, cooking and traveling.