Tuesday, December 14, 2010

NBC Goes After "Idol"

The vultures are circling…

NBC—sensing an opportunity to pounce on “Idol”—is launching its own singing competition series this spring.

“The Voice of America” is the American version of a Dutch singing competition. Mark Burnett (“Survivor”) will produce, along with Dutch producer John De Mol (“Big Brother,” “Fear Factor”). Casting is already under way.

The show is similar to “Idol,” but its format is actually closer to “The X Factor.” During the audition rounds, four coaches,who are also popular recording artists, will sit in rotating chairs with their backs to the contestants. This way, they can only hear the singers and not see them (Thus, the title, “The Voice”.). If the coaches like a performance they can claim the contestant as one of their students. If more than one coach likes them, the contestants choose their coach.
Once the “teams” are set, the coaches will mentor the singers and the teams will face off with
viewers voting on the winner.

With the solid ratings for “The Sing-Off,” NBC is putting the show on the fast track to get the jump on “Factor.” “Voice” could even end up going head to head with “Idol.”

NBC’s alternative chief Paul Telegdy told “The Hollywood Reporter, “It's a bold move, it shows our confidence.”

Personally, I think a spring launch is a mistake. With this, “Idol,” “Dancing With the Stars” and “Live to Dance,” it’s just too many competition shows at the same time. And yes, “The Sing Off” is doing well, but I have to believe that has more to do with “Glee” than it does the audience’s desire for another singing competition show.

But I guess we shall see…