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CBS to debut Mark Burnett's 'Rock Star: INXS' reality show on July 11


By Reality TV World staff, 05/09/2005 

CBS announced Friday that Rock Star: INXS, Mark Burnett's new American Idol-like reality talent competition series that will find a new lead singer for Australian rock band INXS, will premiere on Monday, July 11 at 10PM ET/PT.

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Part of a Summer 2005 reality show lineup that will see CBS broadcast six hours of reality programming a week, Rock Star will regularly air three times a week, sandwiching Monday/Wednesday half-hour episodes around its hour-long Tuesday broadcasts.

As reported last summer, Rock Star: INXS will feature a format similar to Fox's Idol but, like all Burnett reality shows, will also focus on the contestants' behind-the-scenes interpersonal relationships as well as their weekly onstage performances.

Unlike Idol, Rock Star will not rely entirely on viewer voting to determine its weekly eliminations, opting instead to determine its contestant eliminations via a combination of viewer participation, the show's as-of-yet undisclosed judges, and INXS' current members. The last singer standing will become INXS' new lead singer, embarking on a world concert tour with the band and also becoming part of the group's new album. Additionally, unlike the global Idol format, Rock Star's competition also isn't limited to residents of any one particular country, with the show's early 2005 casting call tour having conducted auditions in twenty cities spread over six continents.

Despite the fact that Burnett has created nearly half a dozen additional reality shows since his Survivor series launched (together with Big Brother) the present American network television reality TV era in Summer 2000, Rock Star will be Burnett's first new CBS series since Survivor debuted five years ago. And as it was during the initial Summer 2000 premieres of Big Brother and Survivor, Big Brother is the series from which CBS will be expecting bigger things. with the network intending (as it did with last summer's Big Brother 5/The Amazing Race 5 Tuesday night reality block) to use the post-Big Brother Tuesday 10PM ET/PT time period to help drive viewers to Rock Star.

While Rock Star: INXS will debut with a special hour-long broadcast on Monday, July 11 in the more highly-viewed 9PM ET/PT time period and, like Big Brother, also air thrice-weekly, the heart of the show will be its hour-long performance episodes that will air Tuesdays at 10PM ET/PT following Big Brother 6's Thursday, July 7 premiere.

"If you look back at last summer, I don't think there's any question The Amazing Race was helped by having a compatible lead-in," CBS senior executive vice president Kelly Kahl told Daily Variety.

In addition to its hour-long Tuesday broadcasts, Rock Star will air half-hour episodes on Mondays at 9:30PM ET/PT beginning July 18 and Wednesdays at 9:30PM ET/PT beginning July 20.

While the format of the show's initial episodes is unclear, according to CBS, each Monday broadcast will feature taped segments focusing on the contestants activities in the Hollywood Hills house in which they will reside, and the Wednesday broadcast featuring the results of the Tuesday night performance broadcasts.

Despite the fact that Rock Star will feature the reunion of Burnett and David Goffin, who spent the last three years as supervising producer of Fox's American Idol after working on Burnett's Eco-Challenge and Combat Missions shows, Goffin (who will serve as one of Rock Star's executive producers) says that the CBS show will fundamentally different than the Fox reality talent competition show.

"It cares about story, character and rock 'n' roll," he told Variety. while also noting that the show has licensed songs from big rock bands like the Rolling Stones, Nirvana, the Killers and R.E.M.

As indicated by the INXS subtitle, if successful, future Rock Star editions can be expected. "[Rock Star] a program that fits with CBSs philosophy to target and nurture reality shows that have franchise potential that can play a meaningful long-term role on our schedule," stated CBS Entertainment president Nancy Tellem in the network's June 2004 announcement of the series.

Produced by Mark Burnett Productions. Rock Star: INXS will be executive produced by Mark Burnett, David Goffin and INXS managers David Edwards and Michael Murchison, with Conrad Riggs serving as co-executive producer.

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