It takes more than a village to pull together an episode of “The World’s Best.”
CBS’ new talent competition series, hosted by James Corden, features acts from around the world — including, in last week’s premiere, Enkh Erdene from Mongolia, who croons American country music in perfect English (but speaks no English); Manami Ito, a one-armed Japanese violinist; and TNT, a Filipino Boy Band.
They’re judged by the “Wall of the World” — 50 international experts across many entertainment genres who complement US judges Faith Hill, RuPaul Charles and Drew Barrymore.
“The World’s Best” was taped over a monthlong period last fall (October into November) at CBS studios in LA — but was 14 months in the making.
“We booked over 350 international flights for the show, and the amount of travel for the talent and the international experts was over 3 million miles,” says Alison Holloway, one of the show’s executive producers. “We looked around the globe to find the best [talent] and looked at all the talent shows [on television] across the world … and searched for what we thought was the best of the best.” Producers found Erdene on “Mongolia’s Got Talent,” but not every act showcased on “The World’s Best” was found on TV, including Ito, who lost an arm in a traffic accident. “She was an act I saw on a very short piece of tape and when I saw her I couldn’t believe what she was doing,” says Holloway. “She’s a nurse, and we went to the province [in Japan] we thought she lived in to find her. She was absolutely blown away.
“The number of time zones we had to deal with and the number of languages … we have scouts on the ground all across the world and a small army of interpreters to help communicate with the acts,” she says. “Most of [the acts] don’t speak English. We have a very determined, small team in our casting department in LA.”