The Search for the Next Elvira



9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13
Fox Reality

When Cassandra Peterson came up with Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, she created a one-of-a-kind character: sexy, bawdy and wonderfully at home with faux scary settings. It's hard to imagine anyone else in the role, but business is business. For years, Peterson has had far more offers than she can handle. With human cloning still a few years away, she opted to find another Elvira with whom she could share the bookings.

"The Search for the Next Elvira" is as delightfully cheesy and outlandish as Elvira herself, possibly setting a record for most close-ups of cleavage. The aspiring Elviras are judged by the original, as well as Patterson Lundquist and Christian Greenia, two female impersonators in full Mistress of the Dark regalia.

The auditions, held on a recent Friday the 13th on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, brought a wide assortment of contestants but relatively few who seemed qualified to slip into Elvira's black high heels. Most had difficulty even pronouncing "macabre." Nonetheless, the judges narrow the group to 13 in the premiere. A double episode Oct. 20 will cull the group to three finalists. After that, viewers will make the final cut, with the winner to be crowned, appropriately, on Halloween.