Once again, it's time to gather around the altar of creativity in television and weep. ABC has just picked up the singing competition Rising Star , a wildly successful series in Israel which the network will re-purpose for American audiences next summer, according to Deadline. The "hot property" is apparently coveted because its real-time voting system (as opposed to The Voice and American Idol's overnight systems) is revolutionary, in that it broadcasts the Facebook pictures of voters to each singer as the real-time voters either vote for their success or leave them hanging. Seems like a great way to destroy some dreams, America. This show is basically the K-cup to American Idol's French Press.
But flashy bells and whistles aside, why the hell would we need another singing competition (especially during the summer, where ABC has proved singing shows don't hold water)? We've already got Idol, The Voice, The Sing-Off, and The X Factor — and the pool of legitimately amazing singers is being spread thinner and thinner. Are there any other talents we'll accept on television besides singing, half-assed circus acts, or dancing with barely-recognizable celebrities? Like, oh, I don't know, America's Got Great Television Writers and Actors?
While ABC is dead-set on trying to keep up with the Joneses over at NBC and Fox, there are about 1,000 other things we can think of that we need on television more than we need yet another serious of hopefuls with gilded microphones and a pocket full of dreams. But we know you're busy, so we'll just give you five.
1. More Shows With People Breaking Into Song
I would rather endure five dramas in which characters break into song every time they feel an emotion than withstand the introduction of another singing competition — especially one that's clearly primed for oodles of very public humiliation.
2. More Animal Sidekicks
Whatever happened to the weird, furry sidekick? (Yeah, that NBC show about vets had a monkey, but it was also a bland sitcom on NBC, which is code for "doomed.") What happened to Lassie or ALF or Sabrina the Teenage Witch's animatronic cat? Or hell, even Wilfred? Oh, what's that? They're all contrived and dated? So they're just like singing competitions, then.
3. Two More Seasons of Mad Men
Sure, AMC is saying that they're "splitting" Mad Men's final season into two halves, so it's really one season, but they said that about Breaking Bad, and then they sold it on iTunes as two seasons. They know exactly what they're doing. But we're about at the end of our rope with Don. It's time to tell us where this is all going and what's going to happen to everyone's favorite perpetual screw up. Making us wait is just as terrible as the moments when Ryan Seacrest makes us wait until after the commercial break to find out which Idol hopeful was eliminated. It's cruel, but it's better than another singing show.
4. Another Dad Who Doesn't Get Women
[Insert famous man from the '90s] stars as a neanderthal stuck in a modern man's body. He's married to a woman who's younger, more attractive, and smarter than him, so he grunts inquisitively and rules the house anyway. Isn't that adorable? It's probably more adorable than watching some well-meaning singer get his or heart broken by a giant LED screen on national television.
5. 17 New Iterations of the Real Housewives or Anywhere They'll Let Bravo In With Cameras
Bravo's line-up of terrible Real Housewives shows may be so full of the TV equivalent of trans fat that by the time we finish each episode, we're filled with dread that our former colleges might burst in and revoke our hard-earned degrees right then and there. But at least they're entertaining. At least these people hang out in places other than a sound stage with so many flashing lights it's a wonder they don't wind up blind by the time they make it to the finals. Yeah, I'm saying it. Trashy reality shows about moderately wealthy women are preferable to a sea of singing competitions. Awkward.