Following a slew of cancellations from NBC last week, the peacock network has made one big renewal decision. NBC recently said they have signed on for Season 2 of I Can Do That, the unscripted series featuring B-list celebrities learning famous acts and performing those feats live onstage. I Can Do That will return next TV season and will be given an order of eight episodes.
Eight episodes is actually an increase from Season 1. The first season of the variety show only nabbed six episodes and featured a list of celebrities that included former Pussycat Dolls member Nicole Scherzinger, Dancing With The Stars’ Cheryl Burke, Joe Jonas, Hunger Games and Smallville actor Alan Ritchson, comedian Jeff Dye and Ciara, who apparently hasn’t done much in the way of hits since “1,2 Step.” The contestants had to learn all kinds of performances, from Penn & Teller Stunts, to stuff from the Blue Man Group and even Avenue Q. It gets weirder. There was even a segment featuring Joe Jonas rapping like Snoop Dogg.
The news comes just a few days after I Can Do That ended its first season run with an episode that left Nicole Scherzinger the top entertainer, although the NBC series refreshingly doesn’t feature judges or eliminations, instead relying on audience votes to reveal the “top entertainer” each week. Apparently, people were fairly invested in the process; I Can Do That averaged a 1.7 rating and 5.7 million total viewers during its Season 1 run.
The networks have started taking an avid interest in throwback variety program. Last fall, NBC announced that the network had signed on Neil Patrick Harris to star in his own variety show; that series, Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris, will begin airing this fall. I’m not sure if NBC’s I Can Do That was a test run for the variety format, but if it was, it seems to have worked.
Reality competition shows have dropped in popularity in recent years, although some oldies but goodies like Survivor, Big Brother, The Amazing Race, Dancing With The Stars and The Bachelor have remained relevant, thanks to audiences sticking with the shows long-term. I have no idea if the resurgence of variety programming will prove to be a cheap but good fit for the networks, but it’s clear NBC, at least, is willing to give the format a go.
It’ll still be a while before Best Time Ever hits the schedule, and it will definitely be a long time before we get new episodes of I Can Do That. In the meantime, here’s what NBC has coming up for the rest of the summer.