What started as a singing competition special featuring Wiz Khalifa and Bebe Rexha that aired during NBA All-Star Weekend on TNT is now being shopped as a full-format series, Variety has learned.
From “The Biggest Loser” and “World of Dance” executive producer Alex Katz, co-founder of Anagram Studios, the special was titled “The Sum” and though it prominently featured Wiz Khalifa and Rexha, they weren’t the competitors. Their fans, singing along to their hit songs, were the real players.
Per “The Sum’s” description, “‘The Sum’ is an original concept based on the best part of any concert — fans singing along with the artists, also known as ‘the common chorus effect.’ In ‘The Sum,’ fans share the spotlight with their favorite music stars by performing a song together.”
Following the success and positive response from both the talent and the fans, Anagram is now shopping the series around to networks.
A source close to production tells Variety there have been discussions between Anagram and Wiz Khalifa for the rapper to be a judge, and that Anagram hopes to feature Rexha and her “incredible” fans again in the future.
The plan is for Anagram to produce a truncated sports version of “The Sum” for teams with artists who have a personal connection to that team and city. Selected superfans will be mic’d up on the field and on the court, and the entire stadium can participate.
Anagram is currently in negotiations with both domestic and international sports leagues to bring “The Sum” to both regular season and all-star games this summer. The studio has already struck a distribution deal for the sports version of “The Sum” with 15 Seconds of Fame, Inc. a company the NBA invested in last July.
“My team and I are extremely protective about using ‘See You Again’ in any capacity, since it comes from such a sensitive, profound place,” Wiz Khalifa told Variety. “When Anagram reached out and explained their plans for the song during the show, I knew it was the right fit. ‘The Sum’ is all about the fans, and so am I. I can’t wait to see what’s next for the show.”
“We created ‘The Sum’ as not only a show, but a multifaceted platform for sport, entertainment and music lovers,” Alex Katz, co-founder of Anagram Studios, said. “While most concert goers may not sing as well as their favorite artist, singing alongside other fans creates a beautiful bond, and in turn, a heartwarming sound. Our company believes in the power of togetherness, and we look forward to The Sum uniting fans and artists in song around the world.”
Craig Barry, executive vice president and chief content officer at Warner Bros. Discovery Sports, which programs the NBA All-Star Game on TNT, added: “’The Sum’ was a perfect and innovative, competition music show that complimented our programming and created some entertaining and memorable moments for fans.”
Anagram Studios is represented by WME.