The Survivor and The Apprentice creator prepares a rockin' "Idol"-style show

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated June 10, 2004 12:20 PM

Survivor and The Apprentice creator Mark Burnett, clearly taking his cues from the success of “American Idol,” is now in the throes of pitching an idea for Rock Star – in which contestants would compete for the chance to sing in an established rock band and then go on a world tour.

“I feel that there’s room on TV for more than one great big talent show, and I feel that rock music has been totally left out of that mix,” Burnett tells Access Hollywood.

He would not reveal the band, though Burnett insists, “It’s a big name.”

Still, he says, “The idea of looking for the next great rock star, I think is so compelling. I mean, the people you look back on like Bono of U2, Mick Jagger. … Michael Stipe of R.E.M. We’re doing a world search.”

To the suggestion that America might be Idol-ed out, Burnett counters that although his Star – which has yet to find a network home – might loosely follow the AI formula as far a weeding out contestants, the show will introduce concepts and moments of suspense that other Burnett shows have offered.

“This show will follow, when it gets down to … the last 12 people, kind of American Idol’s style in some ways, but with a twist, with a Mark Burnett stamp on it,” he says. “You get to know the people, which I don’t think you do on American Idol, so it’s got my unscripted drama side to it.”

On the other hand, Rock Star will definitely differ from American Idol in that the winner will not solely be decidedly upon by the vox populi.

“The band members will be one vote, America will be one vote, and an expert will be one vote,” says Burnett. And why is that? “Because you had so many problems with American Idol” this year on the voting, he said.