O'Dell and Kressley will appear in each episode to work with the 10 finalists, who were culled from more than 15,000 entrants. The finalists will participate in a "host boot camp" in which they compete in various challenges relevant to hosting and developing a television show. Challenges will range from booking interviews and researching story ideas to successfully completing an actual screen test. Each episode will feature a celebrity judge whose expertise will assist the contestants while challenging them to sharpen their skills.
"We are thrilled to add Nancy and Carson to the Your OWN Show team," said OWN chief creative officer Lisa Erspamer. "Not only are their skills invaluable, they bring wit and fun to everything they do."
Nancy O'Dell, one of Hollywood's best-known and most-liked entertainment journalists, was on the original Access Hollywood team and anchored for 13 years from 1996 to 2009. She has contributed to CBS's The Early Show, NBC's Today Show and Dateline. O'Dell hosted The Live Golden Globes Arrivals Special and The Tournament of Roses Parade for the past nine years. With 20 years of live television experience, O'Dell is a go-to host for network specials, having recently hosted ABC's 2010 Fall Preview, the 2010 Emmy coverage for CBS's The Early Show, VH1's 2010 Critic's Choice Awards Red Carpet Special and the 2010 Super Bowl Fan Jam Concert. NBC Sports tapped Nancy to host their 2009 NFL kickoff show, the live coverage of the Kentucky Derby with Bob Costas and Ladies First: Bravo at the Kentucky Derby.
She has hosted numerous Emmy Awards red carpet preshows and was the host and consulting producer of the country music talent search series Nashville Star. O'Dell has guest starred on the Emmy-winning television series 30 Rock and Hannah Montana. She will be seen in Scream 4 in 2011 and appeared in the Golden Globe–nominated film Thank You for Smoking. O'Dell has been honored with three Associated Press Awards, two Society of Professional Journalists Awards, an Emmy and has been nominated for seven additional Emmys. She is the author of two books, Full of Life: Mom-to-Mom Tips I Wish Someone Told Me When I Was Pregnant and the soon-to-be released Full of Love.
According to O'Dell, "Now I can check off one of my career goals, which is to work with the amazing Oprah Winfrey. I couldn't be more honored and flattered to have been chosen! When you hear the names Oprah Winfrey and Mark Burnett, you know it is going to be a quality, classy production. As soon as I was offered the job, I said, 'Where do I sign?'"
Carson Kressley is an accomplished stylist, television star, equestrian, author and fashion designer. Kressley recently hosted True Beauty from executive producers Tyra Banks and Ashton Kutcher. He also helmed the Lifetime Network's How to Look Good Naked and is a frequent style contributor on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Kressley earned a primetime Emmy for his role on Bravo's breakout hit series Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. His film credits include Sordid Lives, The Year Without a Santa Claus, The Perfect Man and the recently released 16 to Life.
Kressley made his theatrical debut in the Ogunquit Playhouse's production of the multiple Tony Award–winning musical The Drowsy Chaperone alongside actress Georgia Engel. Kressley is a New York Times best-selling author with three books to his credit, including a children's book promoting diversity, You're Different and That's Super. In addition to his work as a performer, Kressley is an avid philanthropist for a variety of GLBT and healthcare-related charities. He hosted the 2008 True Colors tour, which raised awareness and promoted equality for the GLBT community. He is the founder of Manhattan's Ali Forney Center's Styled for Success program, which provides career wardrobes for formerly homeless youth, and the founding donor of the first college scholarship program for gay youth in his hometown of Allentown, Pennsylvania.
"I am so thrilled, grateful and excited to be a part of Your OWN Show," Kressley said. "Not only do I get to inspire and be inspired by an amazing group of very talented contestants, I will also have the privilege of working with seasoned pros like Nancy O'Dell, Mark Burnett and, of course, my hero, Oprah Winfrey. How lucky am I?"
About OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network
A joint venture between Harpo, Inc. and Discovery Communications, OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network is a multiplatform media company designed to entertain, inform and inspire people to live their best lives. OWN will debut on January 1, 2011, in approximately 80 million homes on what is currently the Discovery Health Channel. The venture also will include the award-winning digital platform Oprah.com. For more information, please visit Oprah.com/own.