To think that this all started with a few YouTube videos, but the lineage of Lip Sync Battle goes much further than that.
It's been about 30 years or so since the syndicated Puttin' On The Hits first hit the air, and 15 since the Saturday morning cable series, Great Pretenders, had been cancelled. Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon must've been a fan of either one or both, because he, along with YouTube talent Stephen Merchant and actor John Krazinski (ex-The Office) are responsible for Battle being spun off from its periodic appearances, first on Late Night, during Fallon's tenure there, and Tonight. Bear in mind that it's been little more than a year since Fallon brought the latter series back to New York, where Battle will also tape.
The series launched last night on Spike, which needed some fresh programming, as opposed to blocks of repeats of, say for example, Cops, for their Thursday lineup. NBC must not have had room to plug the show in as a spring replacement series. Their loss.
Fallon factors into the opener, but he's dueling with the People's Movie Star, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Host LL Cool J (NCIS-Los Angeles), who knows a thing or twenty about lip sync himself, is joined by supermodel Chrissy Teigen as a commentator. Teigen's husband, John Legend, took part in episode 2 (Spike will air 2 episodes in a row to fill the hour). No cash prizes, unlike the other shows, just some fun.
Given that it's The Rock in the opener, of course there's going to be some wrestling-style promos thrown in. Here, Johnson decides to do some "Tay-Tay". You know, Taylor Swift. All we have is this short promo.
Legend was matched with his "Selma" duet partner, Common, in episode 2. Expect to find this On Demand, so you and your family can amuse yourselves over Easter weekend.