(November 17, 2000 – Burbank, CA) — Locked in for a debut date of Friday January 12 at 8:30 p.m. ET, The WB’s new reality series chronicling the birth of an all-female pop group, “POPSTARS,” has already amassed an unprecedented level of behind-the-scenes talent, including a deal with legendary music producer David Foster. Mr. Foster will take an active, hands-on role in the selection process and formation of the group and will then shepherd the women through the recording process of their debut album. The announcement was made today by Susanne Daniels, President, Entertainment, The WB Television Network; Peter Koepke, President and CEO and Seymour Stein, Chairman, London-Sire Records; and Scott A. Stone and David G. Stanley, Partners, Stone Stanley Entertainment. Mr. Foster, one of the world's most successful record producers and 14-time Grammy Award winner with an unprecedented 42 nominations to his credit, has established himself as one of the music industry's most sought-after session musicians, composers and producers. In recent years, he has produced hits for such superstars as Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Michael Bolton, Brandy and Toni Braxton. London-Sire Records, in association with David Foster's 143 Records, both Warner Music Group companies, will release the group’s debut album in April 2001. London-Sire’s current roster includes All Saints, Pet Shop Boys, Mandy Barnett, Guster and Morcheeba. 143 Records (in association with Lava/Atlantic) is home to the multi-platinum Irish rock band The Corrs, Beth Hart and Plus One. London-Sire signed on the project through Stone Stanley Entertainment and The WB. Also on board with “POPSTARS” is an impressive group of the music industry’s top songwriters, including Diane Warren, Anders Bagge, Richard Marx, Alex G. and Brad “Riprock” Daymond; Dow and Brad; Steve Kipner and David Frank and Eric Foster White. Collectively, these artists have written dozens of No. 1 pop hits and have worked with the likes of Whitney Houston, Britney Spears, *NSYNC, Ricky Martin, Celine Dion, Faith Hill, Christina Aguilera, Backstreet Boys, Jessica Simpson, 98˚, LFO and Boyzone. "Even before Peter Koepke approached me about ‘Popstars,’ I had already seen the Australian version and wanted to be involved,” said Mr. Foster. “I’m leaving no stone unturned in the search for the best songwriters and producers. This project is very exciting and is my number-one priority." “Our goal with ‘Popstars’ is to establish an all-star team of behind-the-scenes talent and in David Foster, we went all the way to the Hall of Fame,” said Ms. Daniels. “With his track record and the addition of the top songwriters in the business, we hope that our timing is right. There are some tremendous male pop groups dominating the charts such as *NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys, but it has been a few years since an all-female pop group has broken through to the top.” Mr. Koepke commented, "This is a world-class opportunity to pair five incredibly talented singers with the best pop songwriters in the business. We are thrilled that London-Sire will team with David Foster and 143 Records to give these very gifted young women the chance to make their dreams of pop stardom come true.” The Direct Management Group, Inc., the veteran management company that currently represents acts such as Counting Crowes, The B’52’s and k.d. lang will consult with Stone Stanley Entertainment on the development of the series and the cultivation and execution of the group. “POPSTARS,” which originated in New Zealand and became the highest-rated show in Australia, chronicles the behind-the-scenes process of creating an all-female pop band. Starting with the premiere episode’s nationwide search to find five potential superstars among thousands of hopeful girls and concluding with a finale concert event, viewers will follow along on the path to stardom. From auditions to selections, rehearsals to the making of the music video, the recording studio to a packed concert hall, every conquest and conflict on the road to stardom will be captured on film. In the Friday at 8:30 p.m. ET time slot, “POPSTARS” will benefit from a powerful lead-in, “SABRINA, THE TEENAGE WITCH,” which ranks as The WB’s top-rated comedy and the highest-rated show ever for The WB’s Friday night. The high school set “POPULAR” follows at 9:00 p.m. LONDON-SIRE RECORDS is a Warner Music Group company. Sire Records was founded in 1966 and was renamed Sire Records Group in 1997 to reflect its restructuring as a freestanding label within Warner Music Group. Following Warner Music Group’s acquisition of London Records, a leading U.K. independent, in December 1999, and Sire’s appointment as London’s U.S. licensee, Sire Records Group was renamed London-Sire Records. 143 RECORDS was founded in 1995 by Grammy winning producer and songwriter David Foster. 143 Records is a joint venture with the Time Warner Corporation and releases product through the Warner Music Group.
# # #