Burnett, Trifecta Shopping 'One in a Million'
Singing competition strip eyed for daytime in fall 2011
By Paige Albiniak -- Broadcasting & Cable, 5/10/2010 12:01:00 AM
"People have been talking about how soap operas aren't working as much in daytime," says Hank Cohen, Trifecta's CEO. "But people always like compelling, dramatic stories. I started thinking, ‘What if you took those stories and wrapped them around a singing competition?'
"Singing is something everyone can relate to," he adds. "We all know if someone's a good singer or not."
Cohen thought Burnett's was the best production company to handle such a project, so he took it to Burnett and his team. "They took our notes, honed our ideas and developed the show," Cohen says. "Now we're out as a team."
"This is a truly independent-minded show that will bring something totally new to syndication, and I'm pleased to be working with the team at Trifecta to make it happen," said Burnett in a statement.
Each day, the half-hour strip will pit four contestants against each other in a singing competition. Each day's winner, which will be decided by three judges, will go on to a Friday competition where a weekly winner will be determined. Each month, the weekly winners will go on to a semifinal competition. One winner from that group will go on to the finals, which will air the last week of the 33-week season. The show's overall winner, which will be determined on the season's final Friday, will take home $1 million.
Contestants will be culled from local auditions held in cooperation with station affiliates. "We would hold a three-day event in conjunction with the station, for example, using station's Websites to market the tryouts and increase attendance," Cohen explains.
Contestants would perform in front of the show's judges and a live local audience. In addition, the show will feature video packages that introduce each contestant to audiences.
"We'll hear their stories and learn more about them through these profile packages," Cohen says. "We'll learn what this means to them and what their personal story is. That's what makes this show so suited for daytime."
The show also will feature a strong Web component. Viewers will be able to go online and vote for their favorites. One slot in the finals will be reserved for the singer who racks up the most online votes.
Trifecta is just taking this show out to stations now, and some of the details haven't been sorted out yet, like who the judges will be, on what terms the show will be sold and what sorts of prizes will be provided. Cohen met with potential advertisers last week to see who would be interested in participating.
As Cohen puts it: "We're not necessarily looking for the next great recording star. We're looking for the next great story."
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