CBS orders exactly what reality TV needs: a singing competition produced by Nigel Lythgoe

A new singing competition is coming to broadcast TV, and it will be produced by former American Idol executive producer Nigel Lythgoe, who was fired at the end of last season. He continues to produce and judge So You Think You Can Dance on Fox.

The new series, In the Spotlight, has been sold internationally by a Turkish distributor, Global Agency, but has yet to air anywhere. It’ll be produced by Lythgoe along with CBS’ former reality TV executive, Jen Bresnan; and the producers of Dance Moms, Collins Avenue Entertainment’s Jeff Collins and Michael Hammond. THR reports that “Though details about the project are limited, THR hears that it will feature musical performances and aims to offer a fresh take on competition.”

Finally–a fresh take! Sigh. I just cannot gather any enthusiasm for yet another broadcast TV singing competition. ABC has one coming called Rising Star, which is in real-time and zzzzz. Are we this far down the barrel that all that’s left is another singing competitions, especially for a network that hasn’t had a new reality show hit in years and years?

That said, I did openly mock NBC’s announcement about The Voice and its swivel chairs, and Mark Burnett and company proved me wrong: the show was indeed a fresh take, unlike The X Factor, which failed because it was too similar to Idol. So perhaps there is something CBS could do here that would be worth watching, but first they’ll have to find their way through a really thick fog of viewer fatigue.

Survivor San Juan Del Sur's dark cloud is lifted

John Rocker

In its third episode, Survivor San Juan Del Sur improved significantly as John Rocker faced off against an Amazing Race villain. But the Exile Island reward challenge remains a drag on the series.


Why Dick Donato left Big Brother 13

Dick Donato

The Big Brother villain known as "Evel Dick" has finally revealed why he left the show during its 13th season: he learned he was HIV positive.

Also: Dick claims he had no choice but to leave the game.

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.