The U.S. version of Mnet's “I Can See Your Voice,” broadcast at prime time on U.S. terrestrial channel Fox, has ranked first in viewership among shows aired in the same time slot, thereby securing a position in the U.S. market.
▲ Ken Jeong, host of the U.S. version of Mnet's “I Can See Your Voice” (image source: Fox)
According to the U.S. broadcasting company Fox, “I Can See Your Voice” ranked first in viewership among shows aired in the same time slot with its debut episode, which aired on Fox at 9 p.m. EST on the 23rd, with a viewership rating of 1.2% among people aged 18-49. In the U.S. alone, 4.6 million people watched “I Can See Your Voice.”
Immediately following the airing of its first episode, “I Can See Your Voice” received a series of rave reviews from overseas media as well. The Guardian described “I Can See Your Voice” as being the weirdest and most joyful TV surprise of the year, while renowned U.S. entertainment industry magazine Variety opined that even amid declining viewership among individual viewers caused by COVID-19 situation, the show had made a successful debut by achieving a solid rating for its first episode.
Positive responses abounded on Fox’s website and official social media pages as well, including those that said “I'm hooked” and “Finally, something decent to watch on television.”
The original creator of ”I Can See Your Voice,” Mnet CP Sun-young Lee has been actively involved with the U.S. version of the show in all stages as executive producer, from planning to pilot production to main episode production, adding more meaning to the show’s U.S. introduction. In the case of the U.S. version of the show, with the core elements left intact, some elements have been modified to suit local conditions; the role of contestants who distinguish skilled singers from others will be taken up by non-celebrities, with the winner earning prize money of 100,000 USD (about 120 million KRW). In the first episode of “I Can See Your Voice,” hosted by Korean-American actor Ken Jeong, a non-celebrity contestant who had succeeded in spotting a skilled singer shed tears of joy upon receiving the prize money of 100,000 USD.
Ranked No.1 in target viewership on Germany's RTL and on the U.S.’s Fox and scheduled to air on the U.K.'s BBC next year, the show has established itself as a representative K entertainment format
Mnet CP Sun-young Lee said of the show's performance, “I think the combination of the Fox production team's insights on American viewers and Mnet's expertise in the format has brought to life a version of the show well suited for the U.S. market. With its core fun elements left intact, the show has been localized well with the addition of new elements for the U.S. market, where six ad slots have to be filled.”
Team leader Da-hyeon Min from Overseas Business Team 2 at CJ ENM's Overseas Content Business Bureau said, “Achieving good results in terms of both viewership and topicality with its U.S. debut episode, I Can See Your Voice has proved itself to be an outstanding entertainment format that has the potential of winning the hearts of viewers around the world. Going forward, we will endeavor to further our global format business so that “I Can See Your Voice” can grow into an entertainment show representative of South Korea.”
“I Can See Your Voice” is a mystery music game show known for its huge twists, where contestants have to distinguish whether a group of mystery singers with undisclosed singing skills are skilled singers or tone-deaf hacks based on just a couple of clues including their faces. Since making its debut on Mnet in 2015, the show, now in its 7th season, has attracted considerable attention each season in South Korea. Having already either debuted or sealed a broadcasting deal in 12 countries, ““I Can See Your Voice” is yielding stunning results overseas as well.
The German version of ““I Can See Your Voice” attracted 2.14 million viewers with its first episode, which aired on Germany's RTL channel last month, and was subsequently recorded as the most watched show among viewers aged 14-49 on RTL that day. In Thailand, since making its debut in 2016, the show has been consistently popular, with the total number of its episodes aired so far being over 200. Also, in the U.K., among all the Korean TV shows made in the Korean entertainment show format, ““I Can See Your Voice” became the first to get air time on BBC One, with its debut airing scheduled for early next year.