NEW YORK – July 25, 2012 – USA Network today announced the pickup of the new original reality series THE CHOIR, modeled after the BAFTA Award-winning British series of the same name. The 10-episode one-hour series from Shed Media will follow choirmaster Gareth Malone as he brings together American characters through the power of music. The announcement, from Heather Olander, senior vice president, reality development, is part of the network’s overall development strategy to broaden into other programming genres, including comedy.
“From our first meeting with Gareth, we were blown away by his ability to unite people through music,” said Olander. “Comedic, unpredictable, emotional, the series taps into the heart of what we’re aiming for on the reality front and spotlights true American characters.”
After four award-winning seasons in the UK, choirmaster Gareth Malone makes the jump over the pond for USA Network’s THE CHOIR. Malone, who says “I don’t teach people how to sing, I give them a voice,” believes in the transformative power of music. In each episode he immerses himself in a different community on a quest to assemble a choir and along the way uncovers unique stories and cultivates distinct voices of true American characters. His unexpected participants include experienced singers and those who haven’t sung a note before with stories that range from army wives, to volunteer firemen to a baseball team on a losing streak. Each episode culminates in a unified and powerful public performance of the choir in front of their community, friends and family.
Malone studied drama at the University of East Anglia Norwich, participating in the university choir and composing music for theatre productions before going on to graduate with distinction from The Royal Academy of Music. He has worked with the London Symphony Orchestra, won an International Emmy and numerous BAFTA Awards and released an album featuring songs from THE CHOIR that topped the UK pop charts. In honor of his services to music, Malone was recently appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire by the Queen of England.
THE CHOIR joins the previously announced pickup of the 9-episode reality series THE MOMENT, hosted by Kurt Warner. Bowing in early 2013, each episode follows a personal journey to rediscover an abandoned dream. The network’s alternative development slate features two additional pilots – BRIDE OR BEST MAN (working title) from Shed Media and ROMANCING THE GLOBE from Mark Burnett and his One Three Media.
Shed Media US launched in February 2009, bringing together five successful television production and distribution companies: Ricochet Television, Wall to Wall, Twenty Twenty, Shed Productions and Outright Distribution. In October 2010 Shed merged with Warner Bros. Noted for its strong characters, memorable casting and its broad range of programming, Shed Media US productions include such hit programs as Supernanny, The Real Housewives of New York City, Who Do You Think You Are?, Bethenny Ever After, It’s Me or the Dog, All American Muslim, and Basketball Wives. Based in Los Angeles with more than 200 employees, Shed Media US is a significant supplier of TV programming to many networks. In 2011, the company produced more than 150 hours of television in the United States.