Seven was facing an early 2022 predicament, which may have been solved with a new global brand for ITV in the process.
With the Winter Olympics beginning on February 4, Seven knew that there was little point in kicking off a new season and quickly hitting the pause button.
But allowing Nine and 10 a free kick without competing against high profile reality shows could also prove problematic.
The answer was to turn to The Voice, the biggest show in 2021, for a (very) short run format variation: The Voice: Generations.
The concept was devised by ITV Studios Australia to meet Seven’s unique challenge. Just three episodes will screen from Monday.
“It’s something that sat beautifully between The Voice: Kids and The Voice: Seniors.”
“We, as a production company, have been talking through the notion of Generations,” says ITV CEO David Mott.
“It’s something that sat beautifully between The Voice: Kids and The Voice: Seniors. All those brands are doing extremely well internationally -and we did discuss those with Seven. They could well pop up again in this market at some point in time. Never say never.
“I’ve always loved Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds”
“I’ve always loved Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds. So it was sort of taking that, looking at Seven’s brief, and we came up with The Voice: Generations.”
Families, friends, neighbours, students and teachers will take to the stage to perform for coaches Keith Urban, Rita Ora, Guy Sebastian and Jessica Mauboy -all of whom remember their own start as young performers receiving encouragement. On offer is a prize of $20,000 and the attention of Universal Music (there is no recording contract as yet).
“It’s just a joyous, warm hug”
“It’s just a joyous, warm hug and I feel that we absolutely delivered on the brief. The coaches love the experience and we’ve got some wonderful talent that you wouldn’t normally see,” Mott continues.
“We’ve got 3 year olds to 72 year olds… father, daughter, mother, son … it just feels tonally, completely appropriate for now.
“It makes you feel good and reminds you of how valuable family, friends and loved ones are.”
ITV’s international family is now across the concept and already launching it in Europe.
“We’re obviously hopeful this could become a bigger brand. It does fit very nicely amongst the suite of Voice brands.
“They coaches are choosing 2 lots of contestants each. But it absolutely works.
“To be perfectly honest, it wasn’t hard (finding acts) …. they all came out of the woodwork because there hasn’t been that opportunity.”
Later in the year The Voice returns with a full season, which is currently concluding production. Seven is also resisting the temptation to supersize the series, with Mott explaining last year’s streamlined series was just what audiences in lockdown needed.
“You’ll see a bigger stage, bigger audience”
“Yeah, it struck a chord at last year. So we’re not messing with that structure. And it worked.
“We have moved to FOX Studios. So you’ll see a bigger stage, bigger audience. We were able to shoot it around COVID and all those protocols, which is fantastic. But yes, it’s essentially the show that everyone resonated with,” he confirms.
“There’s no question that it’s a heavy night of competition. No slot is easy, but I really appreciate Seven saying The Voice is a show that can help kick start the year.”
The Voice: Generations 7:30pm Monday Jan. 31 – Wednesday Feb. 2 on Seven.