ABC, NBC Set Pre-Christmas Stunts

Though it probably has more to do with the time of year than the writers' strike, viewers should prepare for a whole lotta unscripted programming in mid-December.

ABC and NBC have each scheduled week-long events to fill a substantial portion of their prime-time lineups the week before Christmas. ABC will unveil a new came show called "Duel" over six nights starting Monday, Dec. 17. For the first four of those nights, it will compete with an NBC show called "Clash of the Choirs."

The latter will feature five well-known singers -- Patti LaBelle, Nick Lachey, Kelly Rowland, Michael Bolton and Blake Shelton -- assembling 20-person choirs from each of their hometowns (Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Houston, New Haven, Conn., and Oklahoma City, respectively) for a live competition based in New York. The champion choir will win a prize that will benefit its home community, such as building a playground or renovating a community center.

Each celeb will be responsible for assembling and directing their choirs, putting them through the paces of harmonizing, choreography and style. They'll also serve as judges for the other choirs' performances, though the ultimate decision will rest with viewers.

"Clash of the Choirs" will air at 8 p.m. ET from Monday, Dec. 17 to Thursday, Dec. 20, with the Monday and Wednesday shows running two hours.

"Duel" is one of several game shows likely to hit the airwaves later in the season, particularly if the writers' strike lasts into the new year. It's based on a French format that combines typical quiz-show elements with betting and bluffing.

Two players will go head-to-head, betting on each question based on how confident they are in the answer. An incorrect answer means elimination, unless the player has bet enough to cover the loss.

"Duel" is scheduled for 8 p.m. each night from Dec. 17-21, with the finale coming Sunday, Dec. 23. A host hasn't been named yet.

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