Do you have a budding Justin Bieber under your roof but want to unleash him in a venue more traditional than YouTube? Or perhaps you're looking forward to the American premiere of The X Factor, with its lower minimum age of 12, but wish it could get even younger and dump the, y'know, adults entirely?
This is your year. The Hub—the rebranded cable channel formerly known as Discovery Kids—has launched a
cattle casting call for Majors and Minors, a reality show–cum–"talent search for kids" between the ages of 8 and 16. That low age is four years younger than Simon Cowell's forthcoming competition, and the upper limit barely overlaps with American Idol's current minimum of 15.
Without mentioning Idol or X-Factor even once, The Hub makes the connection of M&M; to other reality-show juggernauts plain by naming among its "Majors/Mentors" a couple of singing-competiton alumnae: Idol Season 6 winner Jordin Sparks, and U.K. X-Factor Season 3 winner Leona Lewis. They join Sean Kingston and OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder among the panel of mentors/shoulder-chuckers/hair-touselers.
Now, before you cry in protest about the manipulation of those not ready to shave, let alone endure a withering Cowell-style putdown, The Hub assures you that the show will have all of the competition of a Saturday afternoon T-Ball game:
There will be no “losers” on Majors and Minors. Over the course of the 15-episode series the entire cast will be taught by the guest “Majors/Mentors,” sharpening and honing the skills they come in with, ensuring that everybody leaves the experience better prepared to make the journey to capture their dreams ahead. While no one ever gets “voted off,” at the end of the series one lucky cast member, viewed by the celebrity mentors and producers as having the greatest breakout potential, will win a recording deal (with Boardwalk and the RCA/JIVE Label Group), a music publishing deal, and the chance to become the featured star in a cross-country live tour with the entire cast.
Phew! Of course the show shouldn't make anyone feel like a loser—that's what the other kids' parents are there for.