Emmys 2013: NBC’s ‘The Voice’ marks a reality triumph over ‘Idol’

Producer Carson Daly, from left, and executive producer Mark Burnett of "The Voice" celebrate winning reality - competition program in the press room at the 65th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards.
(Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)

NBC’s “The Voice” managed to do something that “American Idol” has never accomplished, winning the Emmy for reality competition program.

For producer Mark Burnett, the honor — and the separation from its reality singing contest competitor “Idol” — has been a goal from the outset.

“It’s a very different show,” Burnett said backstage. "[Creator] John de Mol made sure there was no humiliation in ‘The Voice.’ People said this kind of show would never work, but we’re back tomorrow night [with Season 5). We want to be No. 1 again.”

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“The Voice’s” fourth season, which ended in June, was its highest-rated year yet, eclipsing “Idol” by more than 1 million viewers and topping the long-running Fox institution for the first time. Its audience is more than double that of Simon Cowell’s hyped singing competition program “The X Factor.”


“The Voice” has managed to do this with a revolving set of musical coaches. Shakira and Usher, who replaced Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green this season, left, replaced by, yes, Green and Aguilera.

“It’s just a matter of keeping it fresh,” Burnett said. “We’re grateful knowing we have coaches who are superstars that, if they can’t be here full-time, we have other coaches to step in. They all have red chairs for life.”