[08/01/11 - 09:47 AM]
NBC Premieres Second Season of "The Voice" Following Network's Broadcast of Super Bowl XLVI on February 5
Plus: midseason drama "Smash" to launch the following night, Monday, February 6.

[via press release from NBC]


New Musical Drama "Smash" to Premiere Next Day on Monday, February 6 (10-11 p.m. ET) After Regular Season Debut of "The Voice" (8-10 p.m. ET)

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. -- August 1, 2011 - NBC will use television's biggest stage following Super Bowl XLVI on Sunday, February 5, 2012 to unveil the second-season premiere of "The Voice" (10-11 p.m. ET; time approximate) followed the next night with the debut of the much-anticipated "Smash" (10-11 p.m. ET) on Monday, February 6.

"The Voice" also will premiere in its regular day and time on the following night, Monday, February 6 (8-10 p.m. ET).

The announcements were made today by Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment.

"The Super Bowl represents the biggest television audience of the year and we think that the return of 'The Voice' is deserving of this prominent showcase," said Greenblatt. "We also will shine the promotional spotlight throughout Super Bowl Sunday for Monday's debut of 'Smash,' which will give it a powerful launch platform."

"The Voice" is a vocal competition series modeled after Holland's top-rated vocal talent discovery show, "The Voice of Holland." Hosted again in its second season by Carson Daly, the show features four musician coaches, Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton, who coach only the most talented vocalists.

The show's innovative format features three stages of competition: the first begins with the blind audition, then the competition enters into a battle phase, and finally, the live performance shows. The show's casting team is working with the music industry and searching the country for the best singers to bring to the blind audition process. During the blind auditions, the decisions from the coaches are based solely on voice and not on looks. The coaches hear the contestants perform, but they don't get to see them -- thanks to rotating chairs. If a coach is impressed by the contestant's voice, he/she pushes a button to select the contestant for his/her team.

Once the teams are set, the battle is on. Coaches dedicate themselves to developing their singers, giving them advice, and sharing the secrets of their success. During the battle rounds, the coaches pit two of their own team members against each other to sing the same song together in front of a studio audience. After the vocal face-off, the coach must choose which of his/her singers will advance.

At the end of the battle episodes, only the strongest members of each coach's roster remain and proceed to the live stage shows. In this final performance phase of the competition, the top contestants from each team compete against each other during a live broadcast. The television audience will vote to save one talent on each team, leaving the coach to decide live who they want to save and who will not move on. At last, each coach will have his/her best contestant left standing to compete in the finale. From these four, one will be named "The Voice" -- and will receive the grand prize of a recording contract and $100,000. "The Voice" is a presentation of Mark Burnett's One Three Inc., Talpa Content USA, Inc. and Warner Horizon Television. The series is created by John de Mol, who executive-produces along with Burnett, Audrey Morrissey and Stijn Bakkers.

"Smash" is a musical drama that celebrates the beauty and heartbreak of the Broadway theater as it follows a cross-section of dreamers and schemers who all have one common desire -- to be a "Smash."

The series centers on a desire to create a Broadway musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe -- written by the successful songwriting duo of Tom (Tony Award nominee Christian Borle, "Legally Blonde: The Musical") and Julia (Emmy Award winner Debra Messing, "Will & Grace"). Julia recently began the process of adopting a child with her husband (Brian d'Arcy James) of many years, but her focus is torn when she has the opportunity to write another Broadway hit.

A rivalry soon forms for the lead role between a youthful, inexperienced Midwestern beauty (Katharine McPhee, "American Idol") -- who is trying to find fame in the big city against all odds -- and stage veteran (Megan Hilty, "Wicked," "9 to 5: The Musical"), who's determined to leave the chorus line and finally get her big break. A tenacious producer, Eileen (Oscar winner Anjelica Huston, "Prizzi's Honor"), discovers the "Marilyn" project and jumps on board with a brilliant director (Jack Davenport, "Pirates of the Caribbean" films) -- whose talent is matched by his cunning and egocentric amorality. The series stemmed from an idea of executive producer and multiple Emmy and Oscar winner Steven Spielberg ("ER," "Schindler's List").

The pilot was written by acclaimed playwright/screenwriter Theresa Rebeck ("Mauritius," "NYPD Blue"). Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (Oscar-winning "Chicago," "Hairspray") and Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey ("United States of Tara," "The Borgias") will also serve as executive producers. Original songs are written by Tony and Grammy Award winners Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman ("Hairspray," "Catch Me If You Can"), who also serve as executive producers. "Smash" is a production of Universal Media Studios in association with DreamWorks Television and Madwoman in the Attic. The pilot was directed by Tony Award winner Michael Mayer ("Spring Awakening," "American Idiot").

For contestant blogs, embeddable clips and full episodes of "The Voice" please visit NBC.com's official show site: http://www.nbc.com/TheVoice.

  [august 2011]  


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