Athletes, actress set to judge $1 million tech TV contest
LOS ANGELES (AP) Two basketball stars and a brainy sitcom actress will be among the judges for TBS' tech-competition series, ''America's Greatest Makers.''
The cable channel said Tuesday that Shaquille O'Neal, Kenny Smith and Mayim Bialik will help decide the winner of the contest and its $1 million top prize.
Executive producer Mark Burnett said the show will debut close to college basketball's March Madness, with some games carried by TBS, so including O'Neal and Smith was a good fit. Bialik, who stars on ''The Big Bang Theory,'' holds a doctorate in neuroscience.
The competitors, both groups and individuals, have come up with ''amazing and cool'' tech ideas, Burnett said. They range from a toothbrush equipped with a video game to encourage kids to use it - to a drone with the possibility of being controlled by thought.
Competitors that survive the first round will fine-tune their products through weekly challenges to be judged by Intel CEO Brian Krzanich; financial expert Carol Roth; Kevin Pereira, co-host of truTV's ''Hack My Life,'' and one of the celebrity judges.
Burnett, whose credits include ''Survivor'' and ''Shark Tank,'' said the male and female contestants range in age from 15 to 59 and are ethnically diverse.
''America's Greatest Makers,'' starting April 5, is described by TBS as part of chip-maker Intel's initiative to foster innovation in the areas of wearable technology and smart-connected consumer electronics.