The BBC is banking that UK audiences in 2017 will be tuned up for Pitch Battle, a primetime Saturday night competition series that will search for Britain’s best singing group. Tuesday’s Child (RV Rampage, Superstar Dogs) is producing the six-episode series after winning the order by beating out 11 other indies who submitted format proposals.
Pitch Battle will key into all musical genres including pop, rock, folk, gospel, a cappella and fishermen’s choirs. There will be five hour-long heat episodes during which the groups will compete head-to-head over a series of choral challenges including Riff Offs, inspired by Universal’s hit film franchise Pitch Perfect. The sing or be sung-off tournament will culminate with a live finale.
The BBC One order comes after the flagship channel lost The Voice to ITV this year and The Great British Bake Off to Channel 4. It still has Strictly Come Dancing which recently finished its 12th season with record ratings. That, along with Bake Off, helped the BBC dominate 2016 with 31 of the top 40 programs so far this year airing on BBC One. But, worryingly for the future, Bake Off episodes took nine of the Top 10 slots.
Tuesday’s Child CEO and Pitch Battle exec producer Karen Smith says of the new series, “After a divisive, depressing 2016, we’re bringing some humour and harmony to 2017 in a contemporary new format with story, scale and spelling-binding, hairs-on-the-back-of-your neck performances.”