Discovery plans two jailhouse talent shows
Company's crime network developing singing, dancing showsCritics are calling it "Prison Idol."
In what has to be the oddest and potentially inflammatory "American Idol" knockoff reality contest to date, Investigation Discovery has announced two prison talent shows.
During the Television Critics Assn.'s press tour, the Discovery-branded crime network said it is developing a singing competition titled "Talent Behind Bars" and another show, "Dancing Behind Bars."
The latter is produced by top-shelf reality kingpin Mark Burnett; the former has not attached a producing partner.
"We're using them as a play off of the two most popular series on television," Schleiff said backstage Friday at the Beverly Hilton.
The projects are sure to draw concern that the shows could exploit, or glorify, convicts.
"Were not trying to be exploitative; we're trying to be entertaining," Schleiff said.
One rule of the project to try and stem criticism: Nobody convicted of a major violent crime will be allowed to participate. Only minor offenders, like those with drug convictions, will be allowed.