ABC Orders Summer Singing Competition Show 'Duets' with Kelly Clarkson, Robin Thicke

7:18 AM PST 03/08/2012 by Lacey Rose, Marisa Guthrie
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Kelly Clarkson

Jennifer Nettles and Lionel Richie will also serve as judges on the nationwide talent search.

ABC is diving into the competitive music competition space with its own celebrity-headlined series this summer.

Duets will have American Idol season one alum Kelly Clarkson as well as Jennifer Nettles, Lionel Richie and Robin Thicke combing the country in search of undiscovered talent to mentor. Each of them will choose two singers to be their duet partners for weekly performances with one winner getting a recording contract with Hollywood Records.

The news comes within weeks of Fox's announcement that it would add a third music competition series from Idol judge Jennifer Lopez, Q'Viva! to its already crowded reality schedule. It has already begun airing on Saturday nights.

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Earlier this month, the CW announced that it, too, would be looking for its Idol or Voice equivalent with The Star Next Door. The latter will star Queen LatifahGloria Estefan and John Rich traveling across the country looking for the best and brightest to compete and represent their home towns when they face-off in Hollywood. 

To be sure, Duets is not ABC’s first attempt to capitalize on the singing competition trend. Last summer, the network aired the short-lived Karaoke Battle USA, which combed the country for the best karaoke singers. But, to date, the network has fared better in the dancing (Dancing with the Stars) and dating (The Bachelor, The Bachelorette) realms.

The series will be produced by Keep Calm and Carry On Productions, with Emmy winner Robert Deaton (The CMA Awards) and Emmy-Winner Charles Wachter (Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution) serving as an executive producer and co-executive producer, respectively.

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