Fox’s new singing competition “The Four” is still a work in progress. Officially ordered to series Tuesday, the show has not yet secured on-screen talent, a premiere date, or even a number of episodes for its Season 1 run.
Development on “The Four” was accelerated in May, after Fox was outbid by ABC for the reboot of “American Idol.” In her Television Critics Association press tour executive session Tuesday, Fox Television Group co-CEO Dana Walden announced the series order, and sought to set the new project apart from other singing competitions such as “Idol” and “The Voice.” Of “Idol,” which recently secured Katy Perry to serve as a judge on its new season for $25 million, and other such shows, Walden said, “They’ve become much more about celebrity panels and much less about star making.”
Speaking to Variety Tuesday, Fox’s top reality-programming executive Rob Wade — who joined the network earlier this year — discussed the direction of his first big swing at his new job.
Dana Walden said that you were unlikely to put this show up against “Idol” or “The Voice.” Does that mean it’s going to premiere in summer?
It gives us summer. There’s potential for the New Year. It could be as late as next fall if we decide to go there. I think what we have to do with this is make sure we set the right panel, that the format works clearly, that we have the right partnerships in place. I’ve done “X-Factor” and “Dancing With the Stars.” Those shows were very buttoned up. Mostly I’m just glad we’re not just rushing to a date, backing into a date. The show comes first, then we work out the schedule afterwards.
Are you worried about the show getting swamped by all the other singing competitions?
Not really. The truth of the matter is, coming to the job and getting my feet under the table — five months sounds like a long time, but it’s not. And this…