Foreman to judge on ‘Inventor’

Heavyweight pumps up season two

Lean, mean grilling machine George Foreman will serve as a judge on the upcoming second season of ABC’s “American Inventor” competish.

The former heavyweight champion , Foreman (who’s better known these days for the electric grills that bear his name) joins “Inventor” as the skein gets an overhaul in time for its sophomore bow.

“He’s the obvious choice for this show,” said exec producer Clay Newbill, who’s also new to “Inventor.” “We were lucky to get him this year. Obviously with the grill and his success there, but also because he’s an everyman and very likable.”

Additionally, entrepreneur and former talkshow host Pat Croce and inventor Sara Blakely have been added to “Inventor.” The three new judges join one holdover from last year, U.K. mogul Peter Jones (who’s also one of the show’s exec producers).

“All of our judges have great but different success stories,” Newbill said. “They all bring different perspectives to the process.”

“Inventor,” which returns Wednesday, June 6 at 9 p.m., has also tapped a new host. News anchor-reporter Nick Smith (most recently a host at ABC’s San Francisco station, KGO-TV) replaces Matt Gallant.

Beyond the host and judges, Newbill said the show’s structure has changed. The first six weeks of “Inventor” will now take place on the road, as each week a finalist is chosen from one of six cities: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Orlando and Houston.

In week seven, a two-hour episode will follow the six finalists as they build their prototype invention and deliver it to the judges — who then whittle the contestants down to three.

Then, with three left, viewers will pick their favorite invention. Winner will receive $1 million and a chance to mass produce their product.

“American Inventor” comes from FremantleMedia North America, Syco TV and Peter Jones TV Ltd. Besides Newbill and Jones, exec producers include Simon Cowell, Cecile Frot-Coutaz and Siobhan Greene.

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