The Voice is getting ready to kick off its 15th season since its debut in 2011. Now, that many seasons in only eight years may seem daunting. But no one knows the pressure better than The Voice’s Executive Producer, Audrey Morrissey. Her goal has always been to keep this long-running reality show as fresh as ever. In an interview with Deadline, Morrissey talked about how producers are working to update the show each season without sacrificing what viewers already love about it.
One thing The Voice has going for it is numbers! Though ratings have been slowly declining, The Voice is by no means struggling to get viewers to tune in. Morrissey credits that in part to the changes that have been made in recent seasons:
“You want to create excitement and interest and have people still looking forward to new things. That’s always paramount in our minds and we really think a lot about that.”
After winning last year’s Emmy Award for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program, their fourth win in the category, it’s clear that something is working. The Voice has been nominated for 49 Emmys total in its 14-season run! When asked how The Voice evaluates the success of its updates, Morrissey said:
“We always want to make sure that the show doesn’t feel dated, that it feels very now. That could be everything from style to design, to a format element that we think makes sense, to switching up the coaches, which has been great for everybody.”
In specifically discussing the changes made in Season 14, Morrissey seemed happy with the updates:
“We’re always trying to find little ways to add new elements to the show that are organic and additive to the format, not distracting or taking away. We decided to explore the idea of creating something that was a little bit of an offensive move. So in this exploration, we decided maybe there is an offensive element, and that ended up turning into the “block.” It definitely added new conversation and new dynamics in terms of how the coaches relate to each other in this whole scenario of the blinds.”
“What’s interesting about Kelly is that she was a winner of a music competition show—the first one in the U.S.—and launched her whole career. Obviously, Jennifer also came up through that path. To have both of them be on our panel as coaches, having been through that process, we’ve never had that before in a coach. Their insight and their POV on what our young artists are going through has been invaluable, and it’s been wild to watch.”
Morrissey also noted that Kelly riding the line between country and pop is a great new element. Blake has basically had a monopoly on country artists every season. With these new coaches, Kelly is finally giving him a run for his money! I think the shift in dynamic makes the show more fun to watch. And Kelly and Blake being friends outside of the show also helps that too!
On the other hand, Morrissey talked about the different challenges the show faces. She said it can be difficult to balance logistics and sheer volume with artistry and creative expression:
“You want the creativity to be at top levels all the time. That’s really the trick, to allow enough space and time to be creative and come up with incredible ideas, yet make sure you can keep that train moving to execute on those ideas. There’s a bit of an art to that.”
There truly has to be some magic behind The Voice that the audience buys into. Whether it’s watching young artists develop before your eyes, the amazing performances happening week-after-week, or just the entertainment value of the show format as a whole, there’s something for everyone. And that’s a win-win for the artists on the show, who are hoping to make it big! When asked why she thinks The Voice resonates with viewers, Morrissey said:
“I think it comes down to a few things. One, I think it is a kind show. It’s a really hopeful show, and I think that really resonates with people. This is a great show that people can watch with their families and see a lot of young, talented people moving closer and closer to their dreams. It’s really heartwarming and it’s also fun. That’s really what it comes down to: great music, some laughs, some feel good TV that’s in fact real. It’s not scripted, it’s really happening. I think it’s that, combined with the fact that it’s a wonderful show that families can enjoy together.”
And looking forward to Season 15, Morrissey and the rest of the producers have some tricks up their sleeve.
“We’ve continuing the ‘block’ that we started in Season 14. We also continued a save in out knockout round. We’re also doing something new. We’re calling it The Comeback Stage, and for the first time, six artists who did not get chair turns will be able to be coached by what we’re calling a fifth coach. So that’s something new. We’re very excited about that.”