Joe Jonas, Nelly Join CW's 'The Next: Fame Is At Your Doorstep'
Now, isn't this cute? The CW wants to run with the music-competition series genre's big boys, and they've got Nelly and Joe Jonas on board to do it.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, The CW's imitation of NBC's "The Voice" concept has rounded out its mentors with the multi-platinum rapper and Disney-bred musician joining up alongside Latin pop icon Gloria Estefan and John Rich of country duo Big & Rich.
The idea behind "The Next: Fame Is At Your Doorstep" is for the four musicians sounds sort of like a traveling version of "The Voice." The quartet of mentors will focus on undiscovered artists that are just this close to a big break. In this take on the idea, the four will also be diving headlong into each contestant's local culture and really experiencing the backgrounds that feed inspiration. It's produced by Queen Latifah alongside Shakim Compere and "The Biggest Loser" producer Dave Broome.
Jonas will have his hands full this fall. He's also appearing alongside such luminaries as "Jersey Shore" housemate Pauly D and model-actor Tyson Beckford on Fox's date-a-celeb show "The Choice."
Nelly, meanwhile? Well, for being Billboard's third-ranked artist of the last decade and certified by the Recording Industry Association of America as one of the best-selling male artists in American music history, the Grammy-winning rapper from St. Louis doesn't exactly make much noise these days. The "Country Grammar" artist is five albums and a mixtape into his mainstream career, with a sixth album due this year.
It's well and good that The CW wants in on this race. But folks, look at the writing on the wall. You may be getting in just as the genre is simultaenously saturated and seeing some ratings declines.
"American Idol" ratings keep dropping year after year. The season finale was once must-see TV. Now, more than a decade onward, this season's was the least-watched in the show's history. "The X Factor" was regarded in its first season as performing beneath expectations, but it could get a bump from the mainstream attention of new judges Britney Spears and Demi Lovato amping up the star power.
It's an understandable urge to jump on something hot, and "The Next" is patterning itself on "The Voice" picking artists from diverse genres. That being said, the only thing that may get this more than a season could be that nobody at The CW exactly expects to pull ratings on par with the Big Four.
Working against it? Celebrities are expensive.