Channel Nine is bringing the US version of smash hit series The Voice across the Pacific in its attempt to win back the viewing public.

The local version of The Voice – the ratings juggernaut in the US that had more than 37 million viewers for its series two premiere earlier this month – went into production yesterday at Fox Studios, Sydney.

The format began in the Netherlands (known as The Voice of Holland) although the Australian version will be modelled on the US series with three stages of competition: the blind auditions, the battle phase and the live performance shows revealing the best local undiscovered artists.

“The mix of talent and unique format will, we truly believe, be a captivating experience for our viewers,” Nine’s director of television, Michael Healy, said in a statement. “To secure such world-class coaches has been a coup for this show and the network.”

Those coaches are Grammy-Award winner Seal, country music star Keith Urban, Good Charlotte frontman Joel Madden and Australian ARIA/Logie-award winner Delta Goodrem. Goodrem recently leant to her voice to local animated film Santa’s Apprentice, which grossed $422,423 at last year’s box office.

The series, which will screen on Nine in the coming months, is a co-production between SHINE Australia and TALPA.

SHINE’s director of entertainment, Julie Ward, said that the format was essentially “magnetic”. “It has attracted the highest quality of professionals to be our coaches and they are genuinely passionate about giving something back to a new generation of talent.

“We have amazing singers who see this as more than a reality TV show. This isn’t a format for wannabes and shower singers. The majority of our artists are pursuing music as a career path. Great singers with great songs, every show will be a concert.”

This week the four coaches will hear Australia’s musical talent perform in a bid to secure a spot on one of the star teams. Once the teams are set, the battle is on. Coaches will develop the artists, becoming their mentors and sharing their secrets to success. During the battle rounds, two team members will go one-on-one by singing a duet for the studio audience.

The vocal talent discovery show is shown in more than 50 countries worldwide.

After reportedly set for a late-2011 debut, Nine announced last November that the show would be one of their frontrunners in 2012. The others include a Big Brother “reboot”, a new Underbelly series, and new family show Tricky Business which would go head-to-head with Seven’s Packed To The Rafters.

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