ABC trying its own singing competition

  • Associated Press
  • Friday, January 17, 2014 1:44pm
  • Life

PASADENA, Calif. — ABC is launching its own entry into the crowded market of singing competition shows, hoping to attract viewers with a format that rewards their instant feedback.The series, “Rising Star,” will begin in June, said Paul Lee, ABC entertainment president.Based on highlights shown to reporters on Friday, the show is visually arresting. A singer performs in front on a wall filled with dozens of video screens, where pictures of viewers pop up when they vote in favor of the performance. If the contestant reaches a certain number of positive votes, the wall rises to reveal a live studio audience.There will be a group of four judges, who haven’t been selected yet, but their opinions have much less weight than the audience’s, Lee said.ABC is adapting a format that was successful in Israel and attracted a bidding war when it was made available to U.S. television networks, he said.“It’s sort of a combination of a massive talent show and ‘The Gong Show,’ “ Lee said.Singing competitions already fill broadcast network schedules, and many in the industry wonder if viewers are tiring of them. “American Idol” launched its new season on Wednesday before 15.2 million viewers. That’s down 15 percent from last January’s season debut and the smallest audience for an “American Idol” launch since the series’ first year in 2002, the Nielsen company said.“Idol” has been hurt by NBC’s “The Voice,” which continues to gain momentum. Its run of shows last fall averaged 14.8 million viewers, up 4 percent from the spring. Fox’s “The X-Factor” with Simon Cowell has plunged so precipitously in the ratings that there is doubt about whether it will return.Lee’s hope is that viewers are tired of the formats of “Idol” and “The X-Factor,” but not necessarily of singing competitions.“We definitely felt it was so different, definitely a 21st century show, that we felt it was a risk worth taking,” he said.Producers have developed a simple app that makes it easy for viewers to participate, Lee said. One wrinkle producers will need to work on — and they haven’t fully figured it out — is how to include West Coast viewers in the process. Prime-time shows that air live in the East and Midwest are frequently shown on tape delay in the West because of the time difference.

More in Life

‘Last Jedi’ is the best ‘Star Wars’ movie since the first one

This instant-classic popcorn movie makes clever references to the past while embracing the new.

‘The Shape of Water’: 1950s creature feature meets 2017 allegory

Director Guillermo del Toro’s allegory bears his fetishes for monsters and surrealistic environments.

‘Ferdinand’ a modern take on the beloved children’s story

The lovable bull is back in an enjoyable but spotty animated film from the makers of “Ice Age.”

Art mimicks reality in engrosing ‘On the Beach at Night Alone’

The Korean film tells the story of an actress recovering from an affair with a married director.

Everett’s Michael ‘Scooby’ Silva is the leader of the (dog) pack

Since 2012, he’s built a thriving business walking dogs while their owners are at work.

Student winners to perform concertos with Mukilteo orchestra

This annual show is a partnership with the Snohomish County Music Teachers Association.

Red wine usually costs more, but you can still find bargains

Here are five good-quality reds that won’t drain your grocery budget.

Beer of the Week: Skull Splitter and Blood of My Enemies

Aesir Meadery of Everett and Whiskey Ridge Brewing of Arlington collaborated to make two braggots.

Booze notebook: Scrappy Punk marks first year in Snohomish

The latest on Snohomish County’s breweries, wineries and distilleries.

Most Read