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.

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.

Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

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.