LOS ANGELES, Sept. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Park Gillespie, Malia Lazu and Lisa Witter are the three remaining candidates on SHOWTIME's political reality series AMERICAN CANDIDATE. On Sunday, September 26 and Sunday, October 3, viewers can vote to elect the winner of AMERICAN CANDIDATE by calling a toll- free number or a text messaging number. The winner, who will be announced during the final episode on October 10, will receive $200,000 and a chance to address the nation. AMERICAN CANDIDATE airs Sunday nights at 9:00 PM ET/PT and is hosted by Emmy(R) Award-winning talk show host Montel Williams. On September 26, viewers can vote for one of three candidates at the end of the show. On the following Sunday, October 3, it will be revealed whom viewers voted "off the ballot," after which, the remaining two candidates will engage in a debate on hot topic issues. At the end of this episode, viewers will again be prompted to vote for their favorite candidate of the two. Ten candidates from across the country were chosen to compete in the series, which has focused on six men and four women of various ages, backgrounds and political views, including Independents, Democrats, Republicans, Greens and Libertarians. The candidates have participated in a fierce competition designed to test their presidential mettle and to show viewers what really goes on in the making of a presidential candidate. The seven candidates that have already been eliminated are Keith Boykin, Bruce Friedrich, Chrissy Gephardt, Richard Mack, Joyce Riley, Jim Strock and Bob Vanech. However, they will re-appear as vice-presidential running mate contenders on September 26 -- similar to the re-emergence of John Edwards on the real-life Democratic ticket. The 10-episode, one-hour program is created by Academy Award(R)-nominated and Emmy(R)-winning documentary filmmaker R.J. Cutler ("The War Room," "American High," Showtime's FRESHMAN DIARIES) and executive produced by Cutler, Jay Roach (director of "Austin Powers in Goldmember," "Meet the Parents") and Tom Lassally ("Stay"). Episodes of AMERICAN CANDIDATE feature well-known political experts, including Joe Trippi, Edward Rollins, Carter Eskew, Richard Bond, Frank Luntz and Tony Frabrizio, who advised the candidates on the challenges they faced. On Sunday, September 26, the final three candidates arrive in Los Angeles and are greeted with a surprise: a reunion with the seven previously ousted contestants. With the benefit of advice from renowned Republican politico Ed Rollins, the candidates will interview this pool of vanquished competitors and chose one to be a "Vice Presidential" running mate. But before the final selection is made, the seven former candidates will take to the radio waves and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the "final three" with conservative radio personality Kim Serafin. The following day, the final three will discuss their platforms with political talk show host Dennis Miller, on the set of "The Dennis Miller Show," where they will announce their running mates and summarize their candidacies in an appeal to the viewers, who will now be able to cast their vote. On Sunday, October 3, it will be revealed which candidate viewers voted off the show. Then, the two remaining candidates will debate hot-topic issues and at the end of the show, viewers can call a toll-free number to vote for the individual they feel should be the AMERICAN CANDIDATE. The winner will be announced on the final "election night results" episode on October 10. On each coast, viewers will be able to vote for two hours at the conclusion of the September 26 and the October 3 episodes, at which time they will be provided with the numbers to call for their favorite candidate. The polls will be open from approximately 9:45 PM ET until approximately 11:45 PM ET following the East Coast airing, and again from approximately 9:45 PM PT until approximately 11:45 PM PT following the West Coast airing. The toll- free phone numbers and text messaging numbers will also be posted on americancandidate.com. PARK GILLESPIE is a 38-year-old public school teacher from North Carolina and a married father of four. He is a conservative who is a small business owner who strongly supports the war on terror, market based solutions to grow the economy and providing healthcare for all. MALIA LAZU is a 27-year-old with progressive views. Originally from Hawaii with strong political ties to Boston, she now resides in Washington D.C., where she organizes voter turnout in urban minority communities, and is working to repeal voting laws that prohibit felons from voting. LISA WITTER is a 31-year-old who manages a 45- person consultancy business based in New York. A product of a blue-collar upbringing in Everett, WA, she is committed to providing healthcare for the uninsured, strengthening our economy and bringing our troops home from Iraq. On AMERICAN CANDIDATE, viewers have followed the group of contestants as they campaigned across the United States. On each show, the contestants performed under pressure, as they participated in competitions that tested their political know-how. The better the candidates did, the more access they had to the political advisors who counseled their campaigns. Each candidate brought with them a campaign manager of their choosing, a close friend or co- worker who helped them with strategy and messaging. The candidates were kept in the dark along the way and did not know what the next contest would be or where it would take place. Host Montel Williams informed them of what their next challenge would be. Each week, a candidate was determined the "front runner" of the competition for that episode and was automatically permitted to stay. The two candidates who finished last in the competitions participated in an "elimination debate" where they had to convince their fellow candidates why they should vote for them to stay. The candidate who received the fewest votes was eliminated from the show. Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Viacom Inc., owns the premium television networks SHOWTIME(R), THE MOVIE CHANNEL(TM) and FLIX(R), as well as the multiplex channels SHOWTIME(R) TOO(TM), SHOWTIME(R) SHOWCASE, SHOWTIME EXTREME(R), SHOWTIME BEYOND(R), SHOWTIME NEXT(R), SHOWTIME WOMEN(R), SHOWTIME FAMILYZONE(R) and TMC xtra. SNI also offers SHOWTIME HD(R), THE MOVIE CHANNEL HD(R), SHOWTIME ON DEMAND(R) and THE MOVIE CHANNEL ON DEMAND(TM). SNI operates and manages the premium television network SUNDANCE CHANNEL(R), which is a venture between NBC Universal, Robert Redford, and Showtime Networks Inc. All SNI feeds provide enhanced sound using Dolby Digital 5.1. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME(R) PPV. Additionally, the advertiser-supported television network SHOWTIME is available in Turkey through a joint venture with UK-based Zone Vision.
SOURCE Showtime Networks Inc.