Fox's 'Idol' hands band together again


19 Entertainment and FremantleMedia North America, the companies behind the megahit "American Idol," are teaming for another music competition for Fox, this time featuring aspiring bands.

The network has greenlighted the series, tentatively titled "The Search for the Next Great American Band," which was created by "Idol" creator Simon Fuller. The "Idol" executive producing team of Fuller, Nigel Lythgoe, Ken Warwick and Cecile Frot-Coutaz are on board as executive producers.

"American Band," considered a spinoff from "Idol," will feature music groups of all ages, styles and genres competing for the "Next Great American Band" title and a recording contract.

Like "Idol," there will be a series of auditions nationwide, and a panel of judges will narrow down the hopefuls to 10 semifinalists who will perform in front of a live studio audience.

Each week, the bands will be challenged to take on different music themes and styles. Viewers will vote for their favorites via telephone and text messaging and determine who stays in the competition.

Sources speculated that Fox might put "American Band" on in the fall when "Idol" is off.

There have been several band-themed reality series. They have focused primarily on building brand-new groups ("Popstars," "Making the Band") or adding a new member to an existing band ("Rock Star," "Pussycat Dolls," "R U the Girl").