American idol American idol 'American Idol' aired for 15 years on FOX before it was canceled, but ABC is bringing it back. (Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

The newest TV singing competition is like 'American Idol' in reverse

The talent show called 'The Four' is coming to FOX will have a slightly unusual format.

In the grand scheme of TV talent competition, there's a certain format that viewers have come to know and accept. There's the audition phase, the callback phase, then the whittling down begins. You have your top 50, then your top 25, then 15, then 10 ... and then the fun really starts, and the competition heats up until a winner is chosen.

But Hollywood being Hollywood, it should come as no surprise that there's a new format on the horizon. And you might say it's turning the whole "start at the bottom and work your way up" philosophy squarely on its head.

The Voice s8 blindsThe powerhouse talent coming out of "The Voice" – with coaches Adam Levine, Pharrell Williams, Christina Aguilera and Blake Shelton leading the way – has been a winning formula for NBC. (Photo: Trae Patton/NBC)

The new series called "The Four," coming to FOX as early as January of next year, comes from Israeli-based production company Armoza Formats. Rather than starting with a large pool of hopefuls and narrowing it down, the show will premiere with four finalists and introduce new contestants throughout the series who will try to unseat them. Viewers will select the challengers from a group of online auditions.

“It’s not going to feel like another version of a format you’ve seen before,” said FOX's Dana Walden.

The announcement comes not long after FOX's longtime star, "American Idol," took up residence at ABC after 15 years, churning out the likes of Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood. They need another hit. And with this intriguing spin on singing competitions in their corner, it looks like they just might have one.

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