Stephen M. Silverman
July 11, 2005 08:00 AM

Monday brings Survivor and The Apprentice honcho Mark Burnett’s latest foray into reality TV: CBS’s Rock Star: INXS, in which a new frontperson will be found for the ’80s band, which never fully rebounded from the 1997 death of singer Michael Hutchence.

In a review of the new show – which will air three times a week – the Hollywood Reporter calls it a blend of American Idol and The Real World and admits that it’s enjoyable and “happily lacking any William Hung types.” Daily Variety gives the show mixed reviews, saying “Rock Star has an overriding air of honesty,” but docks the series for its lack of actual INXS music early in the series.

Rock Star, hosted by Brooke Burke and Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro, debuts at 9:30 p.m. ET. Epic Records has signed INXS to a record deal with its new singer, and the band is planning to go on tour after the series wraps up.

The band’s last studio album was 1997’s Elegantly Wasted, released prior to the death of Hutchence, who was found hanged in a Sydney, Australia, hotel room.

Meanwhile, for those viewers hungering for American Idol, there’s news that 13 months from now, an Idol Auditions Tour will start hitting 50 U.S. cities, permitting as many as 25,000 hopefuls to have their chance to try out for the sixth season of the talent hunt, producers of the FOX hit have announced.

Previously, only a handful of cities played host to the auditions. The fifth season of Idol starts in January.

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