NBC building challenger to American Idol


Get ready for “The Voice of America” – or maybe the name of the show will change. What won’t change is that NBC is out to take on a giant, Fox’s “American Idol,” and has teamed with Mark Burnett, John de Mol and Warner Horizon Television to build a giant killer.

As two of the biggest and most successful reality TV producers, de Mol and Burnett are definitely not ones to shrink from such a challenge. Burnett is the brains behind “Survivor” and “The Apprentice,” while for de Mol it is “Big Brother” and “Fear Factor.” Credits for Warner Horizon include “The Bachelor” and “Randy Jackson Presents America’s Best
Dance Crew.” 

“The Voice of America” is modeled after the very popular Dutch version of the show, “The Voice of Holland,” which the announcement says has displaced the Dutch version of “The X Factor” and “American Idol” as the #1 talent competition show in Holland.

Four celebrity artists each will form teams of singers that they will coach and mentor throughout the competition.  Individuals will be eliminated until each celebrity only has one team member left who will compete in the finals to be named “The Voice of America” in a live finale. And to guarantee that the celebrities pick the best of the best, the series introduces a unique twist – the initial audition process is blind; coaches can only hear the singer but cannot see them. The television audience will also have a say in determining the competition’s finalists, as they vie for the grand prize of a recording contract. 

“This show truly focuses on amazing voices,” said Paul Telegdy, Executive Vice President, Alternative Programming, NBC and Universal Media Studios.  “The celebrity coaches
are passionate about discovering, developing and nurturing new talent.  As soon as we saw the Dutch format, we knew this was completely different and really exciting.” The debut date has not yet been announced.

“The Voice of America” is a presentation of Talpa Productions, Mark Burnett and Warner Horizon Television.  De Mol is creator and also is an executive producer with Burnett.