Be prepared to unleash some sort of massive groan. Just in case you did not feel like there were enough singing shows on television already, ABC has just greenlit ten episodes of the summer singing series “Rising Star.” According to Deadline, this pickup was somewhat competitive … which suggests that there was strangely someone else who was also interested in a singing competition. (Maybe CBS?)
Like “The Voice” before it, there is at least something that makes this show different than every other work in the genre right now. Every episode takes place in front of a live audience and judges, and these two components along with America help to determine whether or not an artist moves on to the next round. They perform a song behind what looks to be some sort of daunting electronic veil, and over the course of the performance, votes of support come in via real-time online. Once their “support meter” (a combination of judges’ votes and America backing them) gets to 70%, the veil is lifted and the audience / the judges can really see the performance happen.
In theory, we like the idea of a show where America has a say very early on, and we don’t have to see manipulative editing play a role in who we like and don’t like. However, that is where most of the praise ends for us. ABC has yet to show any shred of evidence at all to us that they understand the singing genre. They last tried this with “Duets” back when Robin Thicke was not a huge star with “Blurred Lines.” It didn’t work then, and it probably won’t work now given that the ratings for most singing shows as it is are in the crapper.
The one thing that is notable here is that this is the first product brought in by Lisa Berger, who is the new head of alternative programming following John Saade’s exit. Its order does make the odds of another summer show from this past year in “Whodunnit?” go down even more. We’re already assuming the worst for the show, given that so much time has passed. It’s not officially canceled yet, but sadly, things don’t look great for our favorite little summer gem.
What do you think: Could another singing show actually work, especially if we are going to be losing “The X Factor” this year? (We’re assuming as much.) Share your thoughts below!