Discovery Plans Two Prison Talent Shows

The next TV idols could come from America’s various prisons. Investigation Discovery has announced that it is developing two prison-based talent shows in another offshoot of the “American Idol” phenomenon.

Discovery’s crime-channel revealed the network’s plans at the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills. Discovery said Mark Burnett will take charge in producing a singing contest that would be called “Talent Behind Bars.” The other show would be a rip-off of “Dancing with the Stars” and would be called “Dancing Behind Bars.”

Investigation Discovery chief Henry Schleiff admitted that the planned shows are indeed inspired by “American Idol” and “Dancing with the Stars.” “We’re using them (Talent Behind Bars and Dancing Behind Bars) as a play off of the two most popular series on television,” Schleiff said.

However, Discovery’s plan was met by fears that the shows could become platforms for glorifying or exploiting inmates. “Were not trying to be exploitative, we’re trying to be entertaining,” Schleiff said. To avoid controversy, Discovery said that inmates convicted of violent crimes will not be allowed to join the shows.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.