9:18am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Upfronts 2012: 'America's Next Top Model' Adds Audience Voting, New Model to Judges' Panel
After 18 cycles, the CW is revamping aging reality franchise America's Next Top Model.
For its 19th cycle, the Tyra Banks reality competition series is adding audience voting and a new model to its judges panel, the network announced Thursday during its upfront presentation to Madison Avenue buyers in New York.
Beginning May 24, viewers will have a say in who stays and departs the competition via online voting on CW's web site in addition to selecting their favorite contestants based on photo shoots taken during production. The viewer feedback will allow Banks and new judge Rob Evans, an international male model, along with returning fashion and PR maven Kelly Cutrone, who will become a fixture after serving on the panel last season.
Stylist Johnny Wujek rounds out the group as creative consultant for the 19th college-themed cycle, which was inspired by Banks' own recent graduation from Harvard Business School.
The shakeup follows news in April that three judges -- Nigel Barker, Jay Manuel and J. Alexander -- would be departing the series, which has been relocated to Fridays at 8 p.m. for the 2012-13 season. Model, which has proven to be a valuable property for the young- and female-skewing network, has seen its ratings slide this past season, opening earlier this year to a dismal 0.6 demo rating, down 45 percent year-over-year.