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Friday October 12, 2007 11:31 am

FOX Searches for ‘The Next Great American Band’

FOX LogoNo one, not even FOX executives, could have predicted the outrageous success of American Idol. As far as reality shows go, Idol is the winner with viewers. Desperate to re-capture the same ratings success with reality, FOX keeps trying new reality ideas. On the Lot, which had a format very similar to Idol and focused on finding America’s next great director, didn’t sizzle over the summer. But the network still has high hopes for the much-touted new fall series, The Next Great American Band. And though the show isn’t even scheduled to premiere until its October 19 two-hour extravaganza, the Internet leaks have long since started. The problem with the leaks is the same problem which plagues the whole of the Internet: what information can be believed, and what can’t?

Read More | Idol Mania

John Rzeznik (The Goo Goo Dolls), Sheila E. and Aussie Ian “Dicko” Dickson (Australian Idol) will be the judges, with Dominic Bowden (New Zealand Idol) will host. Now, that’s true. The networked “leaked” that information of its own accord. The other leaks? Those are a little harder to track.

The auditions will be featured on the October 19 premiere, with hopeful bands being narrowed down to only twelve (or ten, depending on what you read) semifinalists. In classic Idol format, the competing bands will them perform live each week. Viewers will vote on their favorites. At the end, the winning bands (three final groups) will compete for a contract with 19 Recordings. The trouble is, information is already all over the Internet discussing the fate of various bands. Many anonymous fans have posted words suggested that this band or that has made it to the semifinals…still weeks before the show is scheduled to hit the airwaves. And therein lies the problem. In some cases, the posts are completely false – bands trying to build up their own names by linking themselves erroneously to the show. But in other cases? Could it be possible that viable information is already leaking out? For years, fans have glanced upon American Idol with a dubious eye. There have been leaks in the past, and some Web sites track the fate of contestants before such has even been voted upon. It’s hard to trust reality in a world where everything is scripted on TV, and harder still to trust when voting malfunctions (Clay Aiken) have raised questions and concerns about the viability of Idol in the past.

The moral of the story? Don’t believe the leaks…but do pay attention. They can’t all be fake. But if FOX has anything to say about it, the network will quickly stop all real information that might be finding its way to the Web – so read quickly, and wait until October 19 to find out what the truth actually is.

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