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NBC Launching Mark Burnett-Produced 'Idol' Rival

NBC is teaming with reality
show producers Mark Burnett and John de Mol on a new singing competition show
called The Voice of America, to
premiere in spring 2011, the network announced Monday.

The series is modeled after
the popular Dutch show The Voice of Holland,
which has edged out The X Factor and American Idol as the top talent
competition show in The Netherlands, according to NBC.

Depending on the timing of
the spring premiere, Voice could go
into head-to-head competition with Idol,
which debuts its 10th season Jan. 19. Fox will also be bringing an
American version of X Factor to the
air starting next fall.

"This show truly focuses on
amazing voices," said Paul Telegdy, executive vice president, alternative programming,
NBC and Universal Media Studios, in a statement. "The celebrity coaches are passionate
about discovering, developing and nurturing new talent. As soon as we saw
the Dutch format, we knew this was completely different and really exciting."

format differs from rival Idol,
featuring three stages of competition: a blind audition (coaches can hear the
singer but not see them), the battle phase and live performance shows. Four
celebrity artists serve as coaches to their own team of singers that they
mentor throughout the competition.

During the initial
audition, a coach presses a button if he/she likes a singer. If more than one
coach expresses interest, the contestant gets to choose which coach to work
with. Singers who are not selected by a coach are eliminated.

In the battle stage,
coaches pit two of their team members against each other to sing the same song
in front of a studio audience to decide who will advance. In the final phase,
the top contestants compete against each other during a live broadcast. In this
round, the television audience votes to decide which singers will move on in
the competition, until one singer wins a recording contract in the finale.

Voice is
the first series to come out of the development agreement between Warner
Horizon Television and de Mol-owned Talpa Media, announced earlier this year. All
three parties bring substantial reality TV credentials to the project, with the
success of Warner Horizon's Bachelor
franchise, Burnett's Survivor and de
Mol's Big Brother. De Mol is creator
and an executive producer of Voice with