NBC and "Survivor" producer to launch "Idol" rival

Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:03pm EST
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By James Hibberd

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - NBC is teaming with "Survivor" producer Mark Burnett and John de Mol to launch a new singing competition program that takes aim at Fox network's "American Idol" and its upcoming series "The X Factor."

The broadcaster has acquired the rights to "The Voice of Holland," a format created by reality TV pioneer and media mogul de Mol.

Since debuting earlier this year, "The Voice" has become a top-rated show in the Neatherlands, with one report claiming its 3 million viewers make it the most-watched talent show in Dutch TV history.

"The Voice" has even displaced the Dutch versions of "Idol" and "The X Factor" as the country's top-rated talent competition.

NBC isn't wasting any time putting its version -- titled "The Voice of America" -- on the air. In a very aggressive move, the show will premiere this spring -- getting the jump on "X Factor" (which launches next fall) and potentially even facing "Idol" head to head.

"It's a bold move, it shows our confidence," said NBC's alternative chief Paul Telegedy of the production schedule. "But we've been busy fermenting a move into this genre for quite a few months. We've been at a state of DefCon 2."

Mark Burnett Productions is taking the lead on a U.S. version, with casting already underway.

The competition's format is similar to "Idol," but even closer to "X Factor," with some notable differences from both.   Continued...