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NBC orders songwriter reality competition series “Songland”

NBC has greenlit a songwriter reality competition series that aims to provide artists the opportunity to collaborate with visionary music producers to make the next chart-topping hits. Songland (11 x 60 ...
October 10, 2018

NBC has greenlit a songwriter reality competition series that aims to provide artists the opportunity to collaborate with visionary music producers to make the next chart-topping hits.

Songland (11 x 60 minutes) will feature five songwriters performing original songs in front of three top music producers and a different “major” recording artist on an intimate soundstage. Each song’s lyrics, arrangements, beats, melody and story will be considered by the panel as producers engage in a discussion about how to creatively adapt the songs to better fit the style and sensibility of the recording artist of the week.

Episode one of the series will feature three-time Grammy nominee Charlie Puth as the star recording artist. He will be joined by a panel of producer-songwriters that includes Grammy winner and OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder, Grammy-winning country singer-songwriter Shane McAnally and Grammy-nominated songwriter Ester Dean.

After the performances, the celebrity musician will choose three songwriters to move forward to the studio and pair them each with the producer best suited to perfect their song. The songwriter and producer will then take to the studio to rework their tracks and impress the recording artist.

Episodes will culminate with one winner chosen to record and release their song as the top artist’s next single.

The series is currently casting, and a premiere date has yet to be set.

Songland will be produced by Live Animals in association with Universal Television Alternative Studio, Dave Stewart Entertainment and 222 Productions.

The original competition series will be executive produced by The Voice judge and Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine (pictured) and Eurythmics co-founder Dave Stewart, along with The Voice producer Audrey Morrissey. Stewart, Morrissey and Ivan Dudynsky — also an exec producer — devised the concept.

Josh Gummersall will serve as producer along with Tedder.

“Songwriters shape the anthems and tell the stories of each generation, and now we’re pulling back the curtain on the collaborative process and opening the door for new talent to emerge,” said Meredith Ahr, president of NBC’s Universal Television Alternative Studio, in a statement. “While filming our first episode, the excitement was palpable as we witnessed the creative direction of our panelists transform and elevate the music right before our eyes. Without a doubt, Songland will inspire music lovers and give us all a greater appreciation for the songs we love.”

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.

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