NBC, fresh from a strong performance by its a capella singing competition The Sing Off, has announced plans for a new singing contest, and this time it’s brought in two big guns from the fact ent world to try to hit the high notes.
The Voice of America will bring together format creator extraordinaire John de Mol (Big Brother, Fear Factor) and superstar exec producer Mark Burnett (Survivor, The Apprentice) for a series that will, according to Paul Telegdy, Executive Vice President, Alternative Programming, NBC and Universal Media Studios, ‘focus on amazing voices.’
The series, set to launch in spring of next year, is based on the Dutch hit The Voice of Holland, which is currently the top singing competition in Holland, knocking out the local versions of X Factor and Idol. As part of its framework, four celebrity artists heads up four teams of singers that they will coach throughout the competition. Singers will be eliminated until each team has one remaining, who will then square off in the finals, with the TV audience also able to weigh in on the ultimate winner. The grand prize, as with Idol, is a recording contract.
Unlike the other singing competition series, the initial audition round will be a ‘blind audition,’ meaning the judges will only be able to hear the singers and not see them. If the coaches are impressed by the talent during this first audition, they can then select the singer for his or her individual team.
‘As soon as we saw the Dutch format, we knew this was completely different and really exciting,’ said Telegdy in a statement. Burnett, calling de Mol ‘a hit maker of the highest pedigree,’ added ‘I’m excited to work with NBC, Warner Horizon and Talpa in producing this incredible format for America.’
‘The pickup by NBC is a huge reward for all the hard work me and my company have put in this show,’ said de mol. ‘It would be fantastic to see ‘The Voice’ as successful in the U.S. as it is in Holland, because that would mean we trace solid new American singing talent.’
The series is the first fruit of the newly-established relationship between de mol’s Talpa Media and Warner Horizon Television, through which Warner Horizon will develop for the U.S. market programs based on Talpa formats.