ABC to try another singing competition with 'Rising Star'

By Daniel Levine,

ABC has tried its own singing competitions in the past to little success. But the network is undeterred. At the Television Critics Association Press Tour, ABC chief Paul Lee announced Rising Star, which will air during the summer as Fox’s American Idol and NBC’s The Voice wrap up.

Rising Star will be based on an Israeli show, which has already spread to other parts of the world. The key difference between Idol and The Voice is that the singers aren’t performing for judges. Instead, viewers vote live, using an app designed by former Mossad agents, Lee said, reports TheWrap.

Lee told reporters that this is like “a modern-day Coliseum” and it will “change the rules” of singing competitions. “In Israel it clearly changed the rules, because it came out gangbusters. It’s sort of a combination of a massive talent show and to some degree the gong show...You literally are voting live,” Lee said.

While a singer is performing, some of the users who vote “yes” may show up on a giant screen. If there are enough “yes” votes, the screen rises and the singer will see the audience that’s actually there. At that point, the singer moves on.

According to USA Today, ABC hopes to use the NBA Finals in June as a way to promote the show, like how NBC has recently used the Super Bowl to launch The Voice.

Of course, one huge problem remains: time zones. Lee suggested that West Coast viewers would be able to see the performances streaming online as the show airs on the East Coast. They won’t know the results until the show airs later that night.

ABC recently tried Duets, which failed to draw viewers even with Idol winner Kelly Clarkson as a judge.

Other ABC announcements today include the premiere for Mind Games and confirmation on the Marvel show Agent Carter.

image: Wikimedia Commons

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