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Season 4 of ‘The Sing-Off’ premieres December 9th

November 25th, 2013


Season 4 of The Sing-Off premieres on NBC December 9th on Dish Network this late fall, breathing some fresh life into the offseason lineup for those of us not interested in what Tom Brady is modelling or whether college football has a playoff.

Some in the entertainment business were surprised NBC green lit a fourth season considering they already have the ultra-successful The Voice, but with artist Jewel on board as a new judge, The Sing-Off looks to be going strong — something one might not have predicted throughout 2013.

There are two reasons for this doubt, albeit a tad contradictory: The first being the obvious fact that TV “reality singing competitions”-type shows have saturated the market ever since American Idol dominated the ratings and took Reality TV down its current path — in other words, how long can the bubble last? And wouldn’t The Sing-Off probably be one of the first ones out?

The second is, this show actually has some substance, and (GASP) that doesn’t seem to matter much in Reality TV. (Unfortunately, Reality TV has proven quality isn’t necessary for ratings. And, as we’ve seen customers switching from cable and DirecTV to Dish Network to follow their favorite reality shows, with the same level of loyalty of sports fans — something no one ever saw coming — and it’s proven how powerful ratings can be, substance or not. It can shift entire modes of creative thought in TV writing.)

But, of course, this is why anyone who cares about quality television (not just the next fad), and (again, GASP) might even mildly care about the quality of the singing they watch on television — in the same way that old guys watching the NFL probably care about the impression it’s making on young football players around the country — should be excited that NBC kept the show going. There have been rumblings for a solid year or two that the bubble of singing competitions is ending, and they’re certainly not headed towards higher-quality competition/talent, but just whatever grabs ratings.

For instance, ABC just green lit an Israeli singing competition show. The main draw? Up-to-the-second voting in real time with an “app” on your smartphone or tablet.

Speed and coolness? Check. Will the show/talent actually be good? Well, I can’t answer that, but you don’t need a translator for my guess.

What’s so great about the continuation of The Sing-Off is that it does represent an actual quality look at singing and technique. Sure, it was probably created to go along with the singing competition fad, and the Reality TV spike in general, but at least it has some chops.

If you didn’t know, the whole show is a cappella, and all of the shows analysts and on-stage staff have solid a cappella backgrounds. If you know anything about singing, you know a cappella takes serious skill and practice. You can’t auto-tune your voice in a cappella. Duh.

Unlike ABC’s new Rising Star, The Sing-Off at least portrays a decent portrait of becoming a better singer — as much as a television show ever could. And, again at the very least, it’s a sign that good TV (or just quality content in general) that may not be a #1 ratings value, still has value nonetheless. And, most importantly, it has value that people will respond to.

If you’re into any of the competition singing shows, be sure to check out The Voice-Off this fall and winter, and remember that every time you watch a show, you’re voting with your clicks.

Categories: DISH & TV news


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