While the team was busy at rehearsals, interviews and wiwi-jamming on ground in Tel Aviv, The American Song Contest was announced, with an aim to bring a Eurovision-like contest to the United States.
With months passing and plans still in development, Peter Settman, founder and executive producer of Brain Academy (the production company in charge of The American Song Contest) has revealed that interest is buzzing in the United States. Speaking to Swedish publication Aftonbladet:
“Interest in a US Eurovision is high among the TV channels in the US. At least ten big players have already shown interest in it (including) the major US networks.”
While he doesn’t go as far as revealing which major broadcaster he has been approached by, he did say he had a meeting with that broadcaster’s top executive:
“I mean is that this guy represented one of the world’s largest TV channels and was extremely interested in this program. We’ll see where it ends up somewhere.”
It’s not the first time a US broadcaster has expressed interest in Eurovision. Network Logo TV broadcast the contest with US commentary from 2016 to 2018, before pulling the plug this year. Netflix has also recently released the 2019 edition for US streamers, and will do the same for next year’s contest.
The format of The American Song Contest is also still under question – while Eurovision is a mix of countries competing against each other, the parameters around this contest is not quite as clear-cut. Peter Settman says it’s still a work in development:
“What is competing in America? Are they the states, or cities, or are they the artists? We are in the middle of that work and, when we think we have the concept, we go out and pitch it.”
The team behind The American Song Contest project includes Europe’s most experienced TV producers, including long term Eurovision and Melodifestivalen producer Christer Björkman and producer Ola Melzig.
At the time The American Song Contest was announced, Peter was hopeful of interest from US broadcasters:
“The timing is perfect. Outside of sports, the Eurovision Song Contest is the biggest TV show on Earth, it unites a continent and everybody gets to vote. We can’t wait to introduce this wonderful competition to the biggest TV market in the world. TV/video audiences are getting bigger every year so this is the perfect time to bring this exciting show to the American public.”
Are you excited by the launch of The American Song Contest? How would you like to see the format driven? Competing states, cities or artists? Let us know in the comments below.
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I bet! Eurovision Asia and a States song contest would give you a lot more to report on.
As much as I love to watch a Eurovision purist foam at the mouth, this isn’t anything to worry about. Eurovision has a unique history because it was forged in the aftermath of WWII, and it has tracked European relations for the last seven decades. It’s truly a cultural event with deep meaning beneath all the fun and excitement. It is special and honestly can’t be replicated in a different format for America, or anywhere else. Any version of an American contest will have none of that history and undercurrent – it will be entertainment, pure and simple. It won’t… Read more »
When we said we wanted Eurovision in the US…..this is the absolute opposite of what we meant.
So happy that the Swedish mafia has a new toy to play with and next year they won’t be in charge
I hope this happens however people are talking about it being the States of America (Texas, New York etc) but I have the idea that it would be countries that are in the Americas, which would be an amazing route to go down due to the number of languages, sounds and genres of music that would be released to a mass audience if that would come to fruition. So the Countries would include: All Northern, Central and Southern American Countries (Canada, US, Mexico, Belize, Brazil etc) The Carribean and Antilles/West Indies (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao etc) Puerto Rico Hawaii Greenland As… Read more »
Since you asked… 🙂
I think it might be the perfect opportunity to ditch geographic identities and just go with a “song A” v. “song B” format etc.
I like the idea of it being awesomely huge and cover all of the Americas, although good luck negotiating with so many different broadcasters on a single transmission date/time.
Also to consider: Advertising and ad breaks.
Hawaii and Puerto Rico are not countries. Hawaii’s a state and PR is a territory. That would be like me saying Sweden and Finland are provinces of Norway.
I knew that PR is a territory and Hawaii is a state, but they are very disconnected from the mainland and have a diverse music scene. Both Hawaiians and Puerto Ricans fell left behind compared to the rest of the US so having them compete as individuals would show validation.
I think this will happen on the same day Eurovision Asia will happen, February 30th 2020!
Where did you got that date from?
“February 30th”; in other words, it will NEVER happen!
And I should add that The X Factor USA also introduced us to Jeff Gutt, who has since become the lead singer of the Stone Temple Pilots.
This could feasibly work either between US states or major cities, but they would have to organize it centrally as a local US broadcaster isn’t the same as a national Broadcaster in Europe. It’d likely take certain elements from Eurovision like extremely over-the-top performances to compensate for lack of ability to generate backstory drama due to the formatting (as most Eurodrama is developed by a fanbase and press that wouldn’t exist for a US edition). It’d also be just amateur acts who wrote their own songs, allowing for a level playing field between even LA and North Dakota as already… Read more »
That would not work, that’s usually the time in which fall season start and which almost everything returns back to “normality”. If this were to take place it would be during the month of July, when nearly everyone is on vacation.
I agree; I think it would work best as a summer competition, airing sometime between early June and mid-July. The only major shows really airing in early June are America’s Got Talent, The Bachelorette, and So You Think You Can Dance (not exactly a ratings juggernaut, but it has its fanbase and it’s been around well over a decade). Big Brother usually starts in late June, and August is a little too late, I think, because by that point AGT is starting its live shows and the ASC would be competing for viewers.
I also think this can ONLY have relevance if it is states competing and I think they should invite Canada, Mexico and all other countries in the region to compete. In the beginning maybe it will be 15 states and one foreign country, but if successful maybe we end up with semi finals reducing american states and then having countries in the final. However how would it work if this is implemented and there is like 10 US states and 8 other countries in final. Would US only vote for itself 🙂 I hope they will invite the top 5… Read more »
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America, i have three words: Please, Stop immediately!
It’s hard to make it a state v state thing. America’s states all have access to the same phone networks, so it would just end up being the most populated states that won every time
We have area codes. It might be tricky, but we could potentially make voting for your own state impossible by barring area codes from that state from voting for its own state.
I mean even reality show X factor didn’t even work in the us and lasted only 3 seasons
The market was saturated with talent competition shows, and having The Voice launch in the same year (2011) didn’t help much either (even though the X Factor format predates the creation of the Voice format). Also, The X Factor had the unfortunate scheduling issue of airing in the fall on FOX, when the show would have to take two weeks off in order for FOX to air the World Series, which was an immediate momentum killer for The X Factor as far as getting a chance to build an audience. I like The X Factor as a format (no upper… Read more »
And it looks like the Idol reboot is going to end after the third season (18th overall) as well.
There is no indication of Idol ending next season.
That’s one show. America’s Got Talent and American Idol have been on for almost twenty years. American Idol was once the most watched show in the country too.
That doesn’t mean this won’t work. One doesn’t exclude the other.
why not focus on your first project, Eurovision Asia?
Probably because setting things up for just one country is easier than creating something for the world’s largest continent
They need Greenland to enter.
If its states competing it could work. Every state is different. New York state isn’t the same as Florida or Hawaii even though they are the same country. They all have different sound and culture. So it could be fun way to hear what the states sounds like.
As for voting most American have either online or app voting so they could work that out.
Southern states would probably have country music, coastal states would have more mainstream hip-hop and pop, midwest states would have some sort of folk music coming from them, and hawaii would have traditional hawaiian music, most likely. Of course, you’d also get rock here and there.
America is one of (if not the #1) biggest countries to influence modern music so I can actually imagine an american song contest being very rich in genre diversity so long as each state adds a bit of local flavor
I despise this idea. We all know how fake American singing competitions are and I have a feeling that they will turn this into another reality tv show kind of thing with fake drama or a weird gimmick to make it “stand out.” Eurovision is a legacy which stood the test of time and unifies Europe and countries around it. Americavision would be another corporate moneymaking product and that is not what ESC deserves.
I agree. Even though I know that not all Americans are culturally sensitive (because I have friends from there), Americanising something as culturally significant as Eurovision will ruin everything that is so great about it.
Don’t worry, this will flop in the US.
I hope it doesn’t work out I’d hate to see it become more popular than Eurovision
Like there isnt any fake drama in ESC…
If you think there are no gimmicks in regular Eurovision then I don’t know what to tell you….
Aye! It was the same for American Idol. When it first started in 2002, the spotlight was squarely on the contenders. Within a few years, it all became about the judges, the corporate logo and unnecessary–and often phony–drama. I stopped watching the show live after the 10th season, because I knew that, soon enough, once the kids were done competing, ALL of them (even the winner) would be on their own. After the 12th season, when Sunday Night Football and NCIS (barely a year younger than Idol) supplanted the show as #1 in the U.S., A-LIST sponsors started jumping ship;… Read more »
Well, I’m all for a Jon Henrik Fjällgren style act for Alaska. Let the Natives sing their hearts out! There are plenty where that from.
If it’s just the United States taking part, I’d want it to be the individual states. I think I’ve written about this before, but if all 50 take part, I could see this playing out as a month-long event, probably in the summer when there’s not so much competition from other programming (the exceptions being The Bachelorette/Bachelor in Paradise, America’s Got Talent, and Big Brother). I’d also include a residency requirement for each act: the act representing each state has to be a resident of the state they’re representing. That way we don’t get a bunch of ringers from California,… Read more »
I was jokingly thinking that they would be the Big Three states.
I don’t think there should be automatic qualifiers for this version at all. I just named those three states because that’s where the country’s biggest music scenes are: New York City, Los Angeles, and Nashville (especially for country music). But Texas also has a great live music scene in Austin (home of the annual South x Southwest festival), and I’m sure bands and artists all over the country who are looking to try and go beyond being local acts would jump at the chance to get some national exposure. Not much different from the artists who usually end up being… Read more »
Oh, it’s Aftonbladet, so it surely is not a gossip!
The US will ruin Eurovision and dilute the brand. I fear the same will happen with Eurovision Asia. Keep things as they are with just the contest in Europe.
If it is not an american (continental) contest it’s totally unnecesary
I’ve been saying that for the longest. This has to encompass ALL of the Americas, or it will be nothing but an ego-driven farce. Is this Björkman’s underhanded plan to get the U.S. into the ESC as a guest contender, like Australia in 2015? We don’t need a national contest on this scale here! Let the contenders apply the same way contenders for other national contests apply, with the pretenders and trainwrecks screened out, and 10 or 20 invited to NYC or L.A. or whatever, to perform. I wouldn’t be surprised if some states refuse to participate in this fiasco.… Read more »
i can already picture the southern states putting way too much effort in this n alternatively winning every year with a country song
I don’t know how the voting would work? Surely phone networks are not different by state, so technically you could vote for your own state??
It’s an interesting concept though, but I’d rather it was a contest between the countries of the Caribbean, North and South America, with maybe USA, Brazil and Mexico as the Big 3?
they go by prefixes n area codes, the same way as the regional voting in eurovision national finals in the 00s used to work
I live in Texas. With the advent of cell phones, when people from one state to another they can keep they’re cell number from the state they used to live. So a person’s area code does not always mean they live in that area anymore.
Phone voting used to be used, it’s just been phased out with new modern technologies. An app voting would probably make voting on the show easier — register with your address (so it knows what state you’re in), and then you can’t vote for the state you live in. Also yes it’s true about time zones and how the Pacific Coast doesn’t have live television, so that is something they must figure out.
The reboot of American Idol’s live shows is actually live now across the US Mainland so they have addressed the time zone issue where other reality competitions have not. It needs to be aired like a live sporting event which is always challenging to find the best time.
For the Dunkin’ Save on America’s Got Talent, I believe they tweet out the three acts that are up for the Save at the beginning of the live show (Eastern time) so that viewers in the Mountain and Pacific time zones can tweet in their votes.
It would have to be a huge network for people to be interested in it. It will also have to be states or it won’t work. Which is interesting because we have local stations that definitely big enough to do something like an American Eurovision.
In the larger and more populous states where there are multiple media markets, the network could assign one affiliate station as the state’s flagship station and that station would be responsible for selecting that state’s act. For example, my home state is Florida, and there are *several* media markets within Florida, including but not limited to: Jacksonville, Tampa, Orlando, Fort Myers, West Palm Beach, and Panama City. But if any of the major networks (no matter who picks up the format) had to pick a flagship station, it would likely be the affiliate located in Miami.
I think you meant to say that Logo pulled the plug, not the pin. Pull the plug = cut the power, shut it down. “Pulling the pin” means activating a hand grenade. Although with their choice of clueless commentators in effect that’s what they did.
American songs competing for the top spot. Isn’t that just, like, you know, THE RADIO? (Granted Drake, Justin Bieber, Shawn Mendes are Canadian…but you get my point).
I would agree since the people there rely on putting artists at the top spot of the radio charts, given that they would bother streaming their songs instead of minding who the contest winners will be per year. There are plenty of reasons that this contest may not easily happen or might really cancel afer a few years.
It’d be foolish to think anyone already with a song on the radio in the US or the potential to get one on the radio is going to have any interest in competing. It’ll just be amateurs like how most countries in Europe do it.
gonna have 2-3 seasons, then canceled
You are being way too optimistic. I’m going to go with one
Björkman will be lucky if any network here even wants to televise it!
This is the type of big and cheap programming the networks love. It’s like an awards show, which do well in America. Unlike the singing contests that are or have had their runs in America, this won’t have the overpaid celebrity judges eating into the profits. A few semifinals and a final can be run within a week in the dead airtime before Christmas.
that would be a total disaster
Well, if it’s in Aftonbladet, it must all be true. Soon to be revealed exclusively in Aftonbladet: “Recently acquired Greenland is the first state to proudly confirm its participation in American Song Contest.”
I don’t understand why they still use it as a source after that many people said it’s definitely not a reliable source..
They have to make it states competing against each other, if they don’t do that the whole concept is really just another American music competition show and there are too many of them that it’ll never catch on.
I don’t think the United States already have a popular song contest, they just have lots of talent shows and singing competition, but nothing with original songs. But I agree that a competition between the states would be the best choice. Delaware would be like San Marino haha
Or possibly the Americas continents (north America, like usa, Canada, Mexico etc and then south america) if they have semi finals, could be split between the two (obviously depending on number of countries) or just have pots like ESC. Maybe not having a big five or an equivalent. Just purely the host country as an automatic finalist. Think this way it can incorporate a greater unity between the two continents, and open up to a wider range of musical styles that incorporate different histories. This idea obviously depends on time zones differences, as I’m not sure on the range. But… Read more »
Aye. The Song Contest of the Americas. There was once the OTI Song Festival, which Bezençon created, running from 1972 (won by Brazil) to 2000 (won by the U.S.). They should employ that concept, and extend it to the rest of the Americas, using the current point system.
Well, I’ve never been into latino music styles and I got bored with the most American mainstream artists. So…I can’t say I’m interested.