ABC Schedules Karaoke Championship Series for Summer


ABC will explore the underground world of the competitive karaoke circuit in a new summer series. The network has ordered six one-hour episodes of the tentatively titled America's Karaoke Challenge, according to sources. The series, which is set to bow in July, follows the annual Karaoke World Championships, where American Idol alumnae including Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood have performed.

Produced by ABC's New York-based Lincoln Square Productions, the show will begin with regional competitions in four states, though producers have yet to settle on exact locales. The contestant pool will be winnowed down to 8 to 12 finalists who will be assigned coaches to help them smooth out their performance. There will also be a three-judge panel of industry experts and producers are currently searching for a host. And the winners – one female and one male – will be crowned at the finals in Las Vegas.

At this point the plan is to air all six hours taped, including the finale. But if the show gains traction, say sources, there is the possibility that the finals could air live.

If it sounds Idol-esque – three-judge panel, coaches, Vegas – sources describe it as the anti-Idol since it features singers of all ages who may not have the pop-star ready appearance of so many Idol hopefuls.

Indeed, the Karaoke World Championships are open to contestants aged 18-70.

Perhaps there's a Susan Boyle lurking on the Karaoke circuit.

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