Web Site Boosts Tonights Premiere of 'American Idol'

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NEW YORK ( -- Microsoft Corp.'s MSN Internet network and News Corp.'s Fox Broadcasting Co. have teamed for an online promotion that ties in with the network's new musical talent search series.

The show, American Idol: The Search for a Superstar, which debuts tonight, is based on the British show Pop Idol.

Each week, after listening to 10 contestants belt out songs, viewers get to vote by phone on their favorite performers. The results are announced on a weekly live broadcast, the first of which airs June 18.

The Web site, which launched today on MSN, will run for 12 weeks and be promoted on several MSN channels including MSN Entertainment and MSN Music. Fox, FremantleMedia and 19 Television designed and built the Web site; MSN is hosting the site and supplying interactive features such as MSN Newsletters, MSN Communities and MSN Live Celebrity Chat.

Streaming audio and video is offered via Microsoft's Windows Media technology. Fans can log on to on MSN to access video clips from the show, interviews, auditions and contestants' performances.

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