Though there's been no official announcement about whether or not The Next Big Thing will return for Season 2, there's plenty of reason to believe it will be back for more episodes. Shows like American Idol and The Voice, which similarly gather together promising young musicians with the hope of kickstarting their careers, have already had long, successful tenures on TV. It can certainly be difficult to stand out amid a TV slate that's now pretty crowded with competition shows, but there's a reason there are so many! People love them! And based on the first season, Next Big Thing seems to have the talent to get people to keep tuning in.
The season finale of The Next Big Thing, airing on Tuesday, Sept. 10, will follow the season's two finalists as they audition for four major record labels — and hopefully sign a deal at the end of it all. But it's what happens after the cameras stop rolling that could actually have the biggest impact on whether or not the show comes back. If the winner does, indeed, become the "next big thing," the series could gain a reputation as a breeding ground for rising stars in the same way that American Idol and The Voice have. But if the winner just ends up blending into the mass of other hopeful musicians who've gone on competition shows in the hopes of breaking big, Next Big Thing may just be remembered as a short-lived reality experiment — if it's remembered at all.
That being said, it sounds like the team involved is invested in keeping the show going. In an interview with Source Magazine, executive producer and creator Tina Davis said Next Big Thing is more than just another avenue for finding new talent — it gives people outside of the industry a glimpse at what goes into artist development. "Artist development is important to have longevity, to reinvent yourself, and this show does that," she says, citing artists like MC Hammer, Public Enemy, LL Cool J, and Migos as examples of how developing an artists can transform someone from just another struggling musician into a culture-shifting superstar.
Judge Dame Dash, however, has a different opinion about what it takes to make a name for yourself. He told The Grio that he feels artists shouldn't be reliant on the industry and should try to forge their own path to success. Now that musicians can connect with fans directly through the internet, he explained, "there's really no excusing letting anybody rob you these days."
This difference of opinion between David and Dash should also work to Next Big Thing's favor. Though shows like American Idol and The Voice are known for producing stars, part of what makes them so magnetic is having bold personalities on the judge's panel, which is clearly the case with Davis and Dash. So while there's no guarantee that The Next Big Thing will return, it does have some key ingredients for success: talented artists, tense competition, and entertaining judges who tend to disagree.