ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – The Miss America pageant will broadcast a seven-episode reality show/documentary series next year to draw in viewers and let the audience choose some of the finalists, officials announced Saturday.
Country Music Television will air the seven-episode "Finding Miss America" in the days leading up to the January 2007 pageant, the network and the Miss America Organization said.
Each episode will focus on a group of contestants as they live together and compete in preliminary competitions: evening wear, swimwear, talent and the one-on-one interviews with judges.
At the end of the preliminary period, judges will tally their votes and secretly select eight of the 15 top finalists, who will be revealed at the live pageant, according to the Miss America Organization and CMT.
Viewers will be able to vote at the end of each episode via phone and Internet to select the remaining finalists.
There was no word on a location for the pageant, which was held in Las Vegas last year.
The new television series is but another way the 85-year-old pageant is seeking to revive viewership that has sagged over the years. CMT picked up the Miss America Pageant after ABC dropped it from its schedule in 2004 because of low ratings.