Fox developing new singing competition to replace 'American Idol'

Music fans may be looking at a renewed battle of the TV singing competition shows, as Variety reported on Monday that FOX is developing a new singing competition to offset the loss of "American Idol", which moved to ABC earlier this year.

Variety reports that FOX is working with Israeli production company Armoza Formats to create an American version of its series "The Final Four," which reverses the traditional singing competition format and has the four finalists chosen in the first week of the show. Those four finalists then have to defend their positions from new challengers each week until one winner is named in the season finale.

This is fairly standard procedure in the music-reality TV world. "American Idol" was itself an adaptation of the UK's "Pop Idol" series, while NBC's "The Voice" is adapted from a European program and ABC's former singing show "Rising Star" was also Israeli.

Variety notes that no official announcement on FOX's new singing show has been made yet, but the fact that the network is re-entering the reality TV fray is significant on its own if you're a music fan. The battle between "American Idol" and "The Voice" was a fairly heated rivalry, with ABC trying numerous times to break in (see "Rising Star" and "Duets," both cancelled after one season). Now with "Idol" on ABC, "The Voice" renewed for two seasons and FOX working on "The Final Four," audiences could have a three-way battle for their TV viewing and their iTunes downloads.

Plus, where will all the music stars go? Every singing competition wants to land a big name on its judging panel. The new "Idol" has Katy Perry and reportedly paid $25 million dollars for her services. "The Voice" signed "Idol" alums Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson. FOX's new show will have to land a major music artist to be a judge, probably with a similarly hefty price tag. Music fans could see more big names on TV than ever before.

More singing competitions also means more talent needed to fill their contestant rosters. If you're a music fan who enjoys listening to the next big thing or wants to see new artists get a break, there will be more opportunities for artists to take their music to national TV audiences than ever before. Of course, will those audiences be watching (and listening?). That's another discussion, but if FOX does launch another singing competition, it will be a very interesting time for music on TV.

Meanwhile, "The Voice" will return on Monday, Sept. 25 to NBC while ABC is currently holding auditions for the new "American Idol."