By James Hibberd
September 28, 2012 at 05:26 PM EDT

AMC may have some of the best, most critically acclaimed, award-winning dramas on TV with Mad Men and Breaking Bad. But it must be tough for them to look at shows like American Idol and The Voice delivering massive audiences by just handing amateurs a microphone and having judges make some snarky comments. So perhaps its no surprise that the network is getting into the game by ordering its first talent competition reality show — albeit a more grounded-sounding version.

The network has greenlit Road Show, an unscripted series set against the backdrop of small-town talent competitions. The show will have open-call auditions for singers, dancers, comedy acts and so forth — so in terms of the variety of performers, it’s a bit more like America’s Got Talent. Road Show’s director and choreographer will serve as judges and mentors, selecting finalists to participate in a talent show held at a local venue. Eight, one-hour episodes have been ordered.

Since this is AMC, you can bet there’s probably not going to be a lot of lasers and spinning chairs. Road Show will aim for a more realistic take on the talent-seeking format than its big network forebears.

Road Show is a doc style talent competition series that celebrates the stories of the people who ever sang into their hairbrush, or lost sleep over their premiere in a community theater production,” says Joel Stillerman, AMC’s evp of original programming. “It’s the local talent show writ large, and will focus on the personal stories as much as the actual talent competition.”

The network also greenlit its other small-town reality venture, Small Town Security, for a second season. Both will premiere next spring.