The battle of the televised karaoke competitions has been joined, with NBC currently leading FOX in the race to get its show on the air.
During Wednesday night's (June 20) "Last Comic Standing," NBC ran a promo for its show, "The Singing Bee," which features contestants singing along with well-known tunes, then continuing after the music stops and a prompter with the lyrics goes blank. Success presumably leads to a prize of some sort.
The show is scheduled to premiere Tuesday, July 10, following "America's Got Talent," the promo said. Not at all coincidentally, that's one day before FOX puts its own, similarly constructed show, "Don't Forget the Lyrics!," on the air.
In "Don't Forget the Lyrics!," contestants will, per a FOX press release, "sing alongside the studio band as the lyrics are projected on screen but suddenly the music will stop and the words will disappear. Will the contestants belt out the correct missing lyric, or freeze under pressure?"
If they successfully complete 10 songs, they walk away with a $1 million prize. Wayne Brady will host.
NBC hasn't tapped a host for its show yet, nor is there detailed information about what winners get. That's because the show initially wasn't scheduled to premiere until the fall, where it was set to be part of a Friday-night rotation with returning game show "1 vs. 100." Now, though, the network wants to beat FOX's show onto the air.
The two networks have played this one-upping game in the past, notably with a pair of boxing reality shows in the 2004-05 season. After NBC made a splashy announcement of its show, "The Contender," FOX countered with a series of its own, "The Next Great Champ."
FOX got "Champ" on the air first in the fall of '04, but no one watched and the series was shunted off to Fox Sports Net to finish its run. "The Contender" debuted in early 2005 and suffered meager ratings as well, though ESPN picked it up for a second season last summer.