UNITED STATES – The American Song Contest is an upcoming U.S. adaptation of the Eurovision Song Contest which will see all fifty U.S. states, five territories, and Washington, D.C. compete for the title of Best Original Song. Christer Björkman, Anders Lenhoff, Ola Melzig, Peter Settman, and Ben Silverman will serve as executive producers. The contest is set to take place on February 21, 2022, and will air on NBC.
The Eurovision Song Contest is an international song competition organized annually by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) since 1956, which features participants representing primarily European countries. It ranks among the world’s most-watched non-sporting events every year, with hundreds of millions of viewers globally.
The earliest known telecast of Eurovision in the continental U.S. was in 1971. Two years earlier, the contest was telecast in Puerto Rico for the first time. The contest was broadcast in both countries in 2003 and 2004.
U.S. cable network Logo TV broadcast the finals from 2016 to 2018, featuring commentary from Carson Kressley and Michelle Collins (2016); Michelle Visage and Ross Mathews (2017); and Mathews and Shangela (2018). Viewing figures were low, ranging from 52,000 viewers in 2016 to 74,000 viewers in 2018. WJFD-FM, a commercial radio station in New Bedford, Massachusetts, broadcast the 2018 and 2019 finals with English and Portuguese commentary.
Netflix licensed the video-on-demand rights for the 2019 and 2020 contests. The OTT platform planned to release the musical comedy film Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga together with the 2020 contest. However, because of the contest’s cancellation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the film was released a month later, on June 26. The film became the most-streamed content on Netflix in the United States on its first weekend. The Story of Fire Saga also introduced viewers to Eurovision’s format and its popularity in Europe. A song from the film, Husavik (My Hometown), was nominated for Best Original Song at the 93rd Academy Awards.
There were plans to develop a U.S. version of Eurovision as early as 2006, with Ben Silverman (then-chairman of production company Reveille) developing the contest for NBC to challenge American Idol. Silverman (currently co-CEO and chairman of production company Propagate) admitted in 2020 that he had been trying to pursue this project for 20 years, including when he was chairman of NBC.
— NBC Entertainment (@nbc) December 15, 2021