CBS is entering the music competition reality series space with In the Spotlight, executive produced by Nigel Lythgoe, the original executive producer of the first big US hit in the genre, Fox’s American Idol. Also executive producing In the Spotlight, which has received a pilot order, is former CBS head of alternative Jennifer Bresnan in her first pilot since leaving her post in the summer. In the Spotlight is based on the Turkish paper format Keep Your Light Shining, which has undergone some changes. CBS wouldn’t reveal details but, according to international Global Agency, which represents the original format, Keep Your Light Shining features 12 contestants on a dark circular stage with a moving spotlight, with them taking turns to sing as the spotlight shines on each of them for 15-20 seconds. Each round, one contestant is eliminated by the audience, with the show also featuring a panel of celebrity judges. Executive producing with Lythgoe and Bresnan are Jeff Collins & Michael Hammond (Dance Moms). CBS’ in-house production company Kalen Productions is producing with Nigel Lythgoe Productions and Collins Avenue Entertainment.
While Fox, NBC, ABC and the CW have been active in the music competition area with such series as American Idol and The X Factor (Fox), The Voice (NBC), Duets (ABC), The Star Next Door (the CW) and the upcoming Rising Star (ABC), an adaptation of the interactive Israeli format, CBS had largely stayed on the sidelines until now, betting instead on its established competition franchises Survivor, The Amazing Race and Big Brother.
Turkey seems to be living up to the hype of being one of the next hotbed for formats. CBS’ pickup of In the Spotlight joins Fox’s recent order to drama Runner (aka The End) based on the Turkish series Son.