The next knock on your door could represent someone who wants to fulfill your greatest wish: Ryan Seacrest.
As he readies for the final season of “American Idol,” the multimedia host and producer is supplying Fox with a new franchise as the series “Knock Knock Live” premieres Tuesday (July 21).
While Seacrest remains based in Los Angeles, several co-hosts — including “Idol” alum Kellie Pickler, “Teen Wolf” star Tyler Posey and former “Tonight Show” correspondent Ross Mathews — fan out across the U.S. to surprise various people by giving each exactly what they’ve been hoping for. In some cases, that involves meeting celebrities such as Lea Michele (“Glee,” “Scream Queens”) and music stars Luke Bryan and Meghan Trainor.
“It’s about celebrating great, exceptional people with amazing prizes,” Seacrest tells Zap2it. “It could be cash, it could be a car, it could be a house. We want to find some couple, some person, some kid and change their life … and we have the opportunity to do that with large-scale prizes, but to me, the show is about the story of the person. It could be a small ask that could turn into a large payoff.”
People are able to nominate wish recipients, or apply for themselves, via the show’s social media and at the website www.knocknocklive.com. Of the submissions he’s seen, Seacrest says they represent “a total cross-section from east to west. We’re looking for the best stories that make great TV, and the fact that it’s live will add to the excitement.”
It also will add to another emotion, since Seacrest allows, “I’m a little bit nervous about this. You don’t know quite what will happen when you knock on that door.” Admittedly, Seacrest will be removed from the actual sites, “but the idea is to toss back to the studio so we can tell the stories together, and to have amazing spontaneous moments. Hopefully, there are tears of joy.”
“Knock Knock Live” was inspired, Seacrest notes, by something he’s long been doing on his nationally syndicated weekday “On Air” radio show (for which he just re-upped for three more years) “People give somebody a hundred bucks, and it changes their lives. Five hundred bucks definitely does … and $10,000 really does. The idea is just to do great things for people who deserve it.”
A corollary idea behind “Knock Knock Live” is for Seacrest to stay in business with Fox. Very active on the producing side of television with such other shows as E!’s “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” and NBC’s upcoming drama “Shades of Blue” -– starring “American Idol” judge Jennifer Lopez -– Seacrest admits he’s still trying to wrap his mind around the 15-season run of “Idol,” the venture that brought him widespread fame, ending next year.
“I knew it was coming at some point,” he says, “but after the announcement, I was emotional about it. It’s been such a part of my life for so many years. The idea was to do ‘Knock Knock Live’ between [the last two] ‘Idols’ so that if it takes off, we’ve got a job. And if not, it hopefully will have been a fun summer show that did a lot of good things for cool people.”