|The Next Best Thing: Who Is the Greatest Celebrity Impersonator?|
|Created by||Peter Engel Productions|
|Presented by||Michele Merkin|
Lisa Ann Walter
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||8|
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Production||New Wave Entertainment|
Peter Engel Productions
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)|
|Original release||May 30 -|
July 25, 2007
The Next Best Thing: Who Is the Greatest Celebrity Impersonator? is an American reality TV series competition of celebrity impersonators with a grand prize of $100,000. It was hosted by Michele Merkin. The judges were Jeffrey Ross, Elon Gold and Lisa Ann Walter; ultimately, the winner was chosen by viewer voting. The eight-episode series debuted May 30, 2007 on the ABC television network and ended the same year.
The premiere featured contestants impersonating (among others) Howard Stern, Jack Nicholson, Angelina Jolie, Jackie Gleason, Art Carney, Superman, Jennifer Aniston, Janet Jackson, Bill Cosby, Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, Marilyn Monroe, Neil Diamond, Tony Soprano, David Letterman, Johnny Depp (as well as Captain Jack Sparrow), Jerry Lewis, Sean Connery, Gwen Stefani, Phil McGraw, Michael Jackson, Hank Williams Jr., Arthur (Fonzie) Fonzarelli, Marilyn Manson, Sonny Bono, Cher, Ozzy Osbourne, and Avril Lavigne.
The judges narrowed down the contestants to 30 semi-finalists, 28 of whom were featured in fully shown performances over two episodes. The semi-finalists were:
Of the 30 semi-finalists, the judges chose the following 10 to be finalists:
American viewers voted, and ranked the finalists in the following order:
As the winner, Trent Carlini received $100,000.