Production is due to begin next Wednesday (July 18) on a new original format show for RTÉ entitled ‘The Hit’ with Grammy Award-winner and U2 producer Steve Lillywhite attached to the project.
Developed by Dublin-based Vision Independent Productions (VIP), ‘The Hit’ is a music-based format which will see eight Irish songwriters battle it out to get their song recorded by a successful artist.
Lillywhite, a music producer who has worked with the likes of U2, The Pogues, The Rolling Stones and most recently The Killers, is set to be the key decision-maker of the show, as cameras will follow him whittling down 20 Irish hopefuls to just eight in scenes due to be filmed in New York next week.
More than 1,000 people submitted original songs to RTÉ and VIP, with just 200 initially being selected. Just eight will remain when cameras continue to roll in a secret Dublin location on August 8.
Two successful music insiders are on board to mentor the songwriters and help choose the winning tune. The eight chosen participants will have to sing their own songs in front of the two professionals in order to be chosen.
VIP will also film around the country to profile each of the eight contestants in their home counties.
Bray-native and MTV presenter Laura Whitmore is tipped to present the new format, which is an original format idea from VIP.
Speaking to IFTN last month, VIP chief Philip Kampf said the last four years has been “an absolute disaster for original formats” in Ireland. Kampf previously brought formats such as ‘The Lyrics Board’ to RTÉ, and under VIP, ‘The Restaurant’ and ‘Showhouse’, all three of which have been sold internationally. According to Kampf, the “holy grail” in TV formats is a “big entertainment format”.
Niamh Bradley and Declan Jones will produce ‘The Hit’, with Cyril O’Regan the director of photography. Two directors will work across the New York and Dublin shoot, although details on the personnel have yet to be finalised.
‘The Hit’ is scheduled to air on RTÉ Two on September 6.