As Fox starts pre-production on the second season of “The Four,” versions of the singing competition show are being worked up in numerous international territories, delegates at a Variety-hosted MipFormats session heard in Cannes on Sunday.
The show has been greenlit by broadcasters CTC in Russia and Antena 1 in Romania. Armoza Formats, which created and distributes the show, has now also optioned it to Satisfaction for France, Magnolia for Italy, Shine in Portugal, Mastiff in Sweden, and Screentime in Australia, among others.
After a six-part debut season, the show has been given an extended second season order of 10 episodes on Fox in the U.S. Alex Piper, the network’s VP, alternative, said in Cannes that the challenge is to retain the DNA of the show over a longer run.
“I don’t think this show is going to explode to 40, 50, 60 hours immediately. I think we want to continue to make it feel like a special event,” Piper said. “I think with a lot of these shows, oftentimes, you tune in for those audition episodes because they are the most compelling part, but you also kind of fade away from them for a few weeks and then get back towards the end. In this show you can’t fade away.”
Avi Armoza first presented the format to the world at MipFormats last year. There is also now a Latin American version in the works, which will be filmed live rather than pre-recorded.
For Fox, Piper said, it was the simplicity of “The Four” that stood out. “Unscripted is a mature marketplace, and singing competition is a saturated part of that,” he said. “What happens in the search for something new is people layer complexity upon complexity, and this was clean and simple.”
A premiere date and judging lineup has not been confirmed for Season 2. Charlie Walk withdrew as a judge on the first season amid sexual harassment allegations, leaving DJ Khaled, Sean Combs, and Meghan Trainor in the judging seats.
“We’re definitely having discussions about ways we can finesse the format,” Piper said. “I think there will be some layers and nuance that will be brought into play, but I don’t think we’re going to change the core DNA.”