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CBS Orders Performance Competition Pilot From Nigel Lythgoe

The network turns its eye to the music space with Turkish format "In the Spotlight" -- and former reality chief Jennifer Bresnan joins the "So You Think You Can Dance" creator as executive producer.

Nigel Lythgoe PR Image - H 2013
Mathieu Young
Nigel Lythgoe

CBS is making moves in the competition space. The Hollywood Reporter has learned that the network of standbys Survivor and The Amazing Race has ordered a pilot for performance-based series In the Spotlight.

Based on a Turkish format, which has yet to air, the stateside In the Spotlight is being produced by Kalen Productions, in association with Nigel Lythgoe Productions and Collins Avenue Entertainment. Nigel Lythgoe, Jennifer Bresnan, Jeff Collins and Michael Hammond are all on board as executive producers.

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All four have a rich reality background. Lythgoe, of course, is the former American Idol producer and creator of So You Think You Can Dance. And Bresnan served as CBS' reality chief from 2008 until she stepped down in August -- replaced by Chris Castallo. Collins and Hammond are both behind Lifetime's juggernaut Dance Moms franchise.

Though details about the project are limited, THR hears that it will feature musical performances and aims to offer a fresh take on competition.

CBS is thus far the only Big Four network to not make a big play for singing competitions. NBC has had runaway success the last three years with The Voice, and Fox still has American Idol. (Fall companion series The X Factor was canceled last week.) And this summer, ABC moves into the genre with Israeli format Rising Star.

Reality has been huge for CBS, though never in the competition sphere. The alternative roster at CBS also hasn't seen substantial newcomer in some time. In addition to Survivor and The Amazing Race, both recently renewed, the network still has summer's Big Brother and smaller Friday outing Undercover Boss.

The pilot order for In The Spotlight marks the first order from Castallo since he was promoted from senior to executive vice president in August.