How many ways can you possibly pitch a talent competition to a television executive? According to the producers of America's Hot Musician, a series airing on the Oxygen Network this spring, FremantleMedia and 19Entertainment are just copying the idea they came up with a few years ago.
The thing is, there have been plenty of band competitions on television over the years. (I even helped produce one, in 1992.) Bands on the Run is probably the most successful band competition to date, but even that didn't break beyond limited repeats on VH1.
While they haven't filed a lawsuit claiming copyright infringement, they have issued a press release. Which is to say, they'd very much like you to watch their show while you're waiting for Fox to debut "The Search for the Next Great American Band" this fall. If they did file a lawsuit, I can't see it going far. Not just because Fox's legal team would crush them, but because I can't see how the shows are remotely similar in format.
Judging by their website, their search for an instrumental performer is certainly compelling -- I want to see the goth bassist take on the orchestra violinist. Oh, wait, they're the judges. At any rate, anything that encourages more musicians to showcase their craft is fine by me.