Fox Greenlights Singing Competition Series to Likely Compete Against ABC's 'American Idol'
By Philiana Ng
Fox is getting back into the singing competition game.
One year after American Idol signed off on the network, it has ordered a new singing competition series, tentatively titled The Four, which may likely go up against Idol on ABC in 2018, Dana Walden and Gary Newman, chairmen and CEOs of Fox Television Group announced Tuesday.
The concept for The Four is unique: Based on an Israeli format, it begins with four finalists, chosen from their auditions by the show’s panel of music industry experts. Throughout the season, they will try to defend their coveted spots on the stage, as they are challenged individually by new singers determined to replace them. Each week, if any of the four are outperformed, they’ll go home and their challengers will take their place.
In announcing the new series, Walden noted that The Four is “designed to discover and build a new music star,” which she says has been missing as of late with what she feels has been added focus on celebrity judges. Though she didn’t mention other singing competition shows by name, Walden was all but referring to the upcoming edition of Idol, which hasKaty Perry, and The Voice, which has a stable of star coaches like Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Miley Cyrus and Jennifer Hudson.
The panelists and additional information will be announced soon. "There will be a mixture of well-known names," Rob Wade, President of Alternative Entertainment and Specials at Fox Broadcasting Company, said of the panel, adding that the key is being "credible," "fantastic chemistry," and the right "marketing." "It's a tricky job."
When asked pointedly whether The Four was a series they were seeking specifically to compete with ABC’s Idol, Walden maintained that it wasn’t. “We’re not developing it to just create some noise in the same space,” she said.
With Idol premiering on ABC in the spring, it’s very possible that The Four could be scheduled as counter-programming.
“We’re mainly looking at our options right now. This is a very different show from American Idol and it’ll be a truncated run,”Wade said, with Walden confirming it would hit the air next year. “It’s basically Game of Thrones with better singing and less nudity.”