USA Network today announced the pickup of the new original reality series THE CHOIR, modeled after the BAFTA Award-winning British series of the same name. The 10-episode one-hour series from Shed Media will follow choirmaster Gareth Malone as he brings together American characters through the power of music. The announcement, from Heather Olander, senior vice president, reality development, is part of the network's overall development strategy to broaden into other programming genres, including comedy.
"From our first meeting with Gareth, we were blown away by his ability to unite people through music," said Olander. "Comedic, unpredictable, emotional, the series taps into the heart of what we're aiming for on the reality front and spotlights true American characters."
After four award-winning seasons in the UK, choirmaster Gareth Malone makes the jump over the pond for USA Network's THE CHOIR. Malone, who says "I don't teach people how to sing, I give them a voice," believes in the transformative power of music. In each episode he immerses himself in a different community on a quest to assemble a choir and along the way uncovers unique stories and cultivates distinct voices of true American characters. His unexpected participants include experienced singers and those who haven't sung a note before with stories that range from army wives, to volunteer firemen to a baseball team on a losing streak. Each episode culminates in a unified and powerful public performance of the choir in front of their community, friends and family.
Malone studied drama at the University of East Anglia Norwich, participating in the university choir and composing music for theatre productions before going on to graduate with distinction from The Royal Academy of Music. He has worked with the London Symphony Orchestra, won an International Emmy and numerous BAFTA Awards and released an album featuring songs from THE CHOIR that topped the UK pop charts. In honor of his services to music, Malone was recently appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire by the Queen of England.