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Calling All Inventors!

By Olivia Leigh in Arts & Entertainment on Oct 25, 2006 7:00PM

Admit it — you’ve probably dreamt up an invention or two in your day, some grand idea that would change the world, or at least make it a little more enjoyable. However, the thought of having to design a protype, pitch it to a company, and apply for a patent sounds like far too much work to fit into your already busy schedule.

But don’t despair, Chicago! Help for languishing inventors is coming to Chicago in the form of, you guessed it, reality TV.

edison.jpgA new show called “Everyday Edisons” will be holding a casting call this Saturday at the WTTW studios at 5400 N. St. Louis Ave., beginning at 7 a.m. Anyone in the doors by 1 p.m. will get at least a five-minute review. The casting call is expected to draw 800 to 1,000 hopeful inventors, so plan to arrive bright and early with ideas in tow.

According to Louis Foreman, executive procuder and head judge, inventors don’t need to have anything more than an idea scratched on the back of a napkin at this point. If you have even an inkling of some idea that might make it big, you may want to try out, as winners will pretty much have it made in the shade. The show will invest $300,000 to $500,000 in each product to pay for seeking a patent, design and engineering, building a prototype, finding a manufacturer to produce it, branding, and packaging.

Procuders say the show will be modeled after PBS’s popular “Antiques Roadshow,” although we think it sounds suspiciously like an ABC show from last season. However, unlike that less-than-stellar “surprise hit,” “Everday Edisons” will not feature reels of crazy ideas or sob stories of people who cash out their 401(k) only to get denied at the audition. “We never want to poke fun at ideas, no matter how crazy they are,” says Mr. Foreman.

And Chicagoist likes that.

Image from Jimee, Jackie, Tom & Asha