Burnett tunes in to record business

A correction was made to this article on Aug. 25, 2005.

Reality TV guru Mark Burnett is extending his domain into recorded music, launching Burnett Records to release a compilation of perfs from the CBS skein “Rock Star: INXS.”

Burnett Records, distributed by Sony BMG’s Epic Records, will release “Rock Star: Live at the Mayan Theatre” on Sept. 20, the day INXS selects a new lead singer on the “Rock Star” show.

“Live at the Mayan” will feature songs from the 15 finalists on “Rock Star: INXS.” Another live recording is being made Sunday featuring the six remaining singers performing with the show’s house band and, in some cases, a string section.

Imprint has the rights to all of the performances recorded for the show, just as 19 Entertainment has rights to perfs on “American Idol.” Deal between Simon Fuller’s 19 and J Records/RCA has lapsed, and the company is talking to several diskeries about striking a new deal.

Epic Records has penciled in a release date of Dec. 13 for INXS’ first album with the new singer. Burnett Records, meanwhile, has the right of first refusal to record any of the contestants not selected to lead the band, said Conrad Riggs, Burnett’s business partner in Mark Burnett Prods.

Depending on the success of the first release, Burnett Records may issue a second compilation. Perfs are sold as downloads on the MSN Music Web site. RCA has issued four “American Idol” compilations; the most recent one, “American Idol Season 4: The Showstoppers,” was released in May and has sold 300,000 copies.

Show eliminated a “rocker,” as the contestants are called, Wednesday night, bringing the pool of finalists to six. Episode was watched by 6.2 million viewers.

While it’s possible the continuation of the INXS saga will become another series, Riggs said several bands have approached Burnett Prods. about doing a second season of the show. “Some need lead singers, and some aren’t happy with the ones they have,” he said.

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