Throwback Tuesday-Star Search

This was the logo from the short-lived CBS show. Logo property of CBS Studios.

Before competitive shows like American Idol, America’s Got Talent and So You Think You Can Dance debut on their respective networks, there was one talent show that created stars out of their contestants.   This show was called Star Search.


For 12 years, Ed McMahon presented the best of ten categories that included vocalists, dancers, comedians and even spoke models competed for judges’ points and a spot on the semi-final.   But before contestants made it through to the next round, they had to make it pass either the champion or a new challenger.   After the face-off, the contestants would face the judges who would award up to four stars.   Whoever received the most votes would win the challenge.  However, the audience voted in case there was a tie.


Several celebrities competed on the syndicated version of Star Search who would become household names that are known across the Earth as superstars.  They include: Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé and Usher.  Other alums that got their start on the Ed McMahon version of Star Search include Adam Sandler, Marc Summers, Drew Carey and Rosie O’ Donnell.


In 2003, CBS decided to bring the show back after FOX’s success with American Idol. The show saw several changes including the absence of legendary host Ed McMahon.   Instead of McMahon hosting the show, former talk show host and comedian Arsenio Hall took over the hosting duties.


Another change that viewers saw was the judging panel. The show had three permanent judges-comedian Ben Stein, country legend Naomi Judd and musician Ahmet Zappa.  Like the original, the remake had a rotating guest judges.   The show had four different categories including Adult and Junior Singer, Comedy and Modeling.  The latter two were replaced in later seasons with dance categories.


Unfortunately, this show did not outlast the syndicated version’s airtime as the show was canceled in 2004.    However, despite the lack of time that the show was provided, the Star Search featured future reality T.V. show contestants including America’s Got Talent Season One champion Bianca Ryan, American Idol’s Season Seven Runner-Up David Archuleta and So You Think You Can Dance Season One winner Nick Lazzarini.  In addition to the future singers and dancer, comedian and Chelsea Lately commentator Loni Love.


To see these future stars compete on Star Search, click on their respective links:

-Britney Spears:

-Justin Timberlake:

-Rosie O’ Donnell:

-David Archuleta:


I do not own all of these clips, these all properties of Star Search and their respective studios. 


  1. Check out this Britney Spears Choreography video to Till the World Ends feat. Ke$ha and Nicki Minaj

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