zach-anner-oprahZach Anner’s journey to winning his very own show on Oprah’s OWN cable television network and soon becoming the Winfrey of Generation Next hadn’t quite begun in 2008 in a convention hall at SXSW in Austin, Texas with an interview from yours truly about Anner’s mockumentary web series, but I’m mentioning all that as a selfish way for me to be able to say, “I knew the guy when…”

Anner’s journey from Austin-based comic to cable television host actually began in June 2010 when he uploaded a video submission to be a contestant on the reality TV program Your OWN Show: Oprah’s Search for the Next TV Star. 4Chan, Reddit, Jon Mayer, and then the internet at large almost immediately endorsed the video and championed Mayer as their feel-good TV host of the future.

Your OWN Show included a series of elimination tests, all of which Anner obviously aced, until the pack was whittled down to two finalists. Yesterday, in true she’s-full-of-heart-warming-surprises Oprah fashion, the Queen of all media announced both finalists won the grand prize.

Kristina Kuzmic-Crocco will be the star of her own cooking show Fearless Kitchen, while Anner will take viewers around the globe in the travel show Rollin’ Around the World. Mark Burnett Productions will produce at least six episodes of both series and is scheduled to begin shooting within a few months.

Before Anner’s very own TV show makes its debut, catch up on episodes of his genuinely entertaining web series The Wingmen, so you can say you knew him when, too.

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