You won't be seeing songwriter Kara DioGuardi on [url id="/news/topic/american_idol/index.jhtml"]"American Idol"[/url] in January, but that doesn't mean the former panelist on America's most popular reality show has given up on her small-screen dreams.
After being ousted from "Idol" following two shaky seasons, DioGuardi has landed her second major TV gig. She will serve as the head judge on a new Bravo series — a songwriter competition that's tentatively titled "Going Platinum." The show will be hosted by singer Jewel, who also will help out with judging alongside an as-yet-unnamed music executive and celebrity guests.
"Hit songs are the backbone of the music industry, and as a publisher, nothing excites me more than finding new songwriting talent," DioGuardi said in a statement. "I am happy to be a part of a show that helps up and coming songwriters pursue their dreams, while giving the public a look into the creative process."
According to a press release announcing the program, "Going Platinum" will "follow 12 musicians as they battle through a series of innovative songwriting challenges testing their creativity, patience and drive. From dance track to love ballad, every episode will feature a different theme that will require the contestants to write and perform lyrics from multiple genres. Their intimate life stories and personal drama will unfold within the show and in their lyrics as they compete and live together."
Previously titled "Hitmakers," the program is in production now in Los Angeles and is slated to premiere in 2011 with 10 episodes. Like an "American Idol" in reverse, it will spotlight the dozen musician as they battle it out for a $100,000 cash prize, as well as publishing and recording deals with Sony, the Writing Camp and RCA/Jive.
"I am excited to be a part of this show because as a songwriter, I understand the dedication and struggle these musicians are going through," said Jewel. "This series will showcase the passion, talent and determination it requires to become a hit songwriter, and in the end we will find the next big music star."
The program seems like a good fit for DioGuardi, who has not only written hit songs for Kelly Clarkson, Pink, the Jonas Brothers and Britney Spears, but also nourished the careers of Jason DeRulo and Iyaz for Warner Bros. Records, where she is executive vice president of talent development.
While "Idol" will feature a panel for its upcoming 10th season that will include new judges Jennifer Lopez and Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler, DioGuardi will not be the only former "Idol" panelist coming back to TV next year on a music-based reality show. Former lead "Idol" meanie Simon Cowell is slated to launch the American version of his popular U.K. singing competition "X Factor" next fall. In addition, fellow ex-"Idol" mainstay Paula Abdul has inked a deal to be the lead judge on the new dancing competition show "Live to Dance" and will possibly take a seat on the "Factor" panel next to Cowell.