Could Oprah’s Next ‘Star’ Be a Teacher?

By Elizabeth Rich — June 28, 2010 1 min read
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If you haven’t heard, Oprah is starting her own network, and she’s looking for the “next TV star"—someone who will get their own show. Phyllis Tucker-Wicks, a self-described classroom teacher, thinks she might be that person. In an open online casting call that received over 10,000 entries, Tucker-Wicks’ “The Days and Lives of a Teacher” is now in second place with 7 million online votes.

In her 90-second pitch, Tucker-Wilson describes a couple of unpleasant classroom scenarios: a student who brought a loaded gun to school (“Boy, am I glad I didn’t kick him out that day”) and the angry, visiting parent, who turned out to be a sheriff with a license to carry a weapon. But it’s not exactly clear what the show entails. After describing it as a teacher reality show, Tucker-Wicks also calls the show “All my Teachers: The Reenactment.” So it’s not clear whether the casting call would be for teachers willing to welcome cameras into their classrooms or for actors willing to reenact “classroom dramas.”

In addition to being a teacher, Tucker-Wicks has written a book titled My Baby’s Daddy: Change of Heart (although the reviews of her book are not exactly fabulous). According to her Amazon profile, she is also a professor at Nova Southeastern University and the University of Phoenix.

There’s also a lot of chatter on the Web over allegations of rigged voting in the “Next TV Star” competition. MSNBC, among a number of other sites, posted an item on Friday accusing the Oprah network producers of rigging the results, which they flatly deny.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.