This was set up as a parody of Project Greenlight from the beginning. I thought that the concept was brilliant when it finally came out. For the longest time I heard Denis Leary talk about how he had used the idea of Project Greenlight and then decided to improve on the idea by having six chances instead of one. He said this on the daily show, the tonight show, the late show etc. However a while later after the show had finished its original run. they were going to have a running of all episodes on a sunday night. He was on Conan to push the marathon. And he came out saying that he was watching project greenlight, "Talk about people with their heads up their a**es." (You had to see the episode to know where that came from.) And decided to take them down a peg or two by parodizing it. Hence Contest Searchlight was born.
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