NBC’s songwriting competition “Songland” has only been on the air since May 28, and it’s already churned out several singles that have ranked high on the iTunes charts.
Tuesday night’s episode yielded a new single for the Jonas Brothers, and by Wednesday morning, “Greenlight” had already risen to No. 2 on the iTunes Overall Chart as well as the Pop Chart. “Greenlight” would have been No. 1 if not for Taylor Swift’s “You Need to Calm Down.”
(Update: As of Thursday, June 20, the Jonas Brothers’ “Greenlight” has overtaken Taylor Swift’s “You Need to Calm Down” and currently holds the No. 1 position on the iTunes Overall Song chart.)
Last week, Kelsea Ballerini found a hit in “Better Luck Next Time.” Written by Darius Coleman, the song rose to the very top of the iTunes Pop Chart two days after it was released on June 11, and hit No. 2 on the iTunes Overall Chart.
“Greenlight” was written by songwriter Able Heart, whose dreams of becoming an Olympic skateboarder were dashed due to a back injury at 15. On Tuesday’s episode, the JoBros chose Heart’s “Greenlight” as the winner, and their version of the song was released as a “Songland” single Tuesday. Watch Able Heart perform “Greenlight” on last night’s episode below.
Past episodes of “Songland” have also yielded chart-toppers for John Legend and the Black Eyed Peas. In the premiere May 28 episode, Legend chose “We Need Love” by songwriter Tebby Burrows, which rose to No. 1 on the iTunes R&B charts and No. 6 on the iTunes Overall Chart the day after the episode aired.
On the following week’s June 2 episode, will.i.am found a Black Eyed Peas hit with Adam Friedman’s “Be Nice,” which rose to No. 1 on the iTunes Rock Chart and No. 14 on the Overall Chart the next day.
The show is also a hit ratings-wise. “Songland” is the No. 1 new show of the summer in the key adults 18-49 demographic and among total viewers, according to Nielsen’s “most current” metric, which counts a week’s worth of delayed viewing per episode where available.
Per NBC, “Songland” aims to find the next generation of hit songwriters. Each week, one guest recording artist comes to “Songland” to hear unknown songwriters pitch their original material. Four songwriters will perform their original tracks in front of the guest artist and producer-mentors Ryan Tedder, Ester Dean and Shane McAnally. At the end of the episode, the guest artist chooses which of the song pitches will become their next single. This season features artists including The Jonas Brothers, John Legend, Charlie Puth, Meghan Trainor, will.i.am, OneRepublic, Kelsea Ballerini, Macklemore, Aloe Blacc, Old Dominion and Leona Lewis.
The 11-episode series is produced by “The Voice” producer Audrey Morrissey, Eurythmics co-founder and producer Dave Stewart, Maroon 5’s Adam Levine and OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder.
Songland airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on NBC.