Charlie Ebersol seizes ‘The Moment,’ Offers People a Second Chance at Dreams
TODAY — Charlie Ebersol knows what it’s like to get a second chance: In 2004 he was in a private jet with his father and younger brother Teddy when it crashed in Colorado. His brother lost his life, and Charlie and his father Dick, a longtime NBC producer and co-creator of “Saturday Night Live,” survived their injuries.
“When the plane crashed, I was so angry,” he told TODAY’s Willie Geist Friday. “I wasn’t scared or sad … I was going to lose out on the opportunity to do all these things I loved that I wasn’t doing.”
His mother instructed him to “take control of his life,” and he did, selling off his company and focusing on the things he loved. Ultimately, he decided to create a TV series that would help others get a second chance at their own dreams. “The Moment,” which began airing on USA Network on Feb. 20, is the result of his new priorities.
As Ebersol explained, the show doesn’t just hand opportunities over to individuals who want them; it isn’t “Fantasy Island.” Instead, he helps facilitate tryouts and interviews for people who want to do something they’ve never done before, and helps them get trained or mentored for two weeks before what he called “the ultimate job interview.”
“It’s a brutal show,” he said, “because in some respects you are getting a shot, your second chance. But it’s a legitimate interview — if you don’t do well, you don’t get offered the job.”