FOX picks up Simon Cowell’s Duets, which merges Idol and Dancing with the Stars

Simon Cowell is executive producing a new talent competition series for FOX, Duets, that sounds like a combination of American Idol and Dancing with the Stars.

The show, which the UK’s ITV has also picked up, “would have professional singers partnering with celebrities outside of the music business to perform duets in front of a live studio audience,” according to the Hollywood Reporter. It “features each duo setting a musical theme from which they pick songs to perform in front of a panel of judges, with viewers having the final say in voting off contestants.”

However, FOX’s pick-up of the series is “a cast-contingent order,” according to THR. In other words, if they can’t line up good celebrities, the show won’t happen.

Cowell’s latest amateur hour: ‘Duets’ for Fox [The Hollywood Reporter]

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.