We've had TV competitions for aspiring pop singers (Fox's American Idol and MTV's Making the Band), country singers (USA's Nashville Star and CMT's Music City Madness) and gospel singers (BET's Sunday Best). So why not give some love to aspiring songwriters? They are, after all, the ones who make those other shows possible.
Bravo has announced plans to give aspiring hit-makers their due with a show that's tentatively titled Going Platinum, premiering in 2011. Kara DioGuardi will judge the contenders with help from "some of today's most influential artists," according to Bravo. Singer-songwriter Jewel has also been hired to host and give her own feedback. Each week, contestants will write and perform lyrics to a new song in genres like "dance" or "love ballad."
Can this show make a splash in an already crowded pool of reality competitions? At the moment, everyone from fine artists to comedians to models to designers to business entrepreneurs can fight it out for a cash prize and some TV exposure. But with each show that gets squeezed into the schedule, the potential TV exposure goes down. We viewers only have so much couch time for these competitive strivers. And at some point, we might actually want to catch an episode of Glee or The Office. Really, is there even any more room left on our DVRs?
Then again, Bravo has a great track record for eyeball-attracting reality shows. With series like Top Chef, The Real Housewives and The Millionaire Matchmaker, they've played a big part in helping to make cable TV cool. That's probably how they've been able to attract big names like DioGuardi and Jewel and those unnamed "influential artists" who'll be guest judging.
Of course, DioGuardi's draw is debatable. Her addition to the American Idol judging table wasn't exactly a bust, but she didn't necessarily add anything to the dynamic, either. When she was let go this year, there wasn't much a fan outcry. But just by virtue of starring on Idol, she is a household name. And this competition actually suits her talents better: She is an accomplished songwriter who has co-written several pop hits, including Gwen Stefani's "Rich Girl" (2004), Ashlee Simpson's "Pieces of Me" (2004), and Pink's "Sober" (2008). This is a competition where her particular skills will really come in handy.
It's hard to predict whether or not a show will survive, especially when it hasn't even hit the air yet. But it's fun to ponder the question. What do you think?
Can a show like Going Platinum succeed amidst all the other reality competitions now on TV?