Just one day after an epic send-off to mark his retirement from “The Voice,” Blake Shelton revealed what he plans to do next. Following 23 seasons of coaching contestants on NBC’s long-running singing competition, Shelton’s last episode of “The Voice” aired live on May 23, 2023.
Earlier in the month, the country music star told Extra TV, “This isn’t a career choice, this is just a life choice for me and it’s just, it’s time for what’s next.”
But a day after the Season 23 finale of “The Voice,” the country music star announced that he’s launching a TV production company, according to Deadline, with big plans to make a variety of new TV programs. Shelton will run Lucky Horseshoe Productions alongside his longtime friend Lee Metzger, who was executive producer of “The Voice” for 13 seasons and his collaborator in creating the show “Barmageddon” for USA Network.
On May 25, Shelton posted a photo of him and Metzger on Instagram and wrote, “Hell yeah! Really excited to partner with my buddy @leemetzger_ on this new project.. It’s been such a blast creating #Barmageddon.. can’t wait to keep it going and see what we can also do next! More to come!!!!!!”
Blake Shelton ‘Excited’ to Focus on Developing New TV Shows
Ready to leave behind a grueling schedule of typically filming two seasons per year of “The Voice” since the show launched in 2011, Shelton announced in October 2022 that he’d leave the show in the spring of 2023.
Though he didn’t say much at the time about his retirement plans, one source told Us Weekly that he hoped to spend more quality time with his wife Gwen Stefani — who he met on “The Voice” when she was a fellow judge — and the three sons she shares with ex-husband Gavin Rossdale — Kingston, 16, Zuma, 14, and Apollo, 9.
But “Voice” host and Shelton’s close friend Carson Daly, who’s now the only original cast member on the series, told Entertainment Tonight he suspected Shelton had other tricks up his sleeve he wanted to work on.
“When we started the show, we had no idea that it would be this successful,” Daly said. “We’re on twice a year, it’s a lot of work. We’re lucky to have had him for so long, because most musicians need to tour. He’s got business things, we’ve got another show, ‘Barmageddon,’ that we did together. So there’s a lot going on for him.”
Daly and Shelton recently teamed up with WWE’s Nikki Garcia, formerly known as Nikki Bella, for a competition series called “Barmageddon” on USA Network, which Shelton and his new business partner, Metzger, developed. The season premiere, according to Deadline, was the network’s most-viewed series premiere in nearly three years with 1.2 million total viewers. The show was renewed and production has already wrapped on a second season.
With that kind of success, it’s no wonder Shelton wants to stay in the TV business. According to Music Row, Shelton and Metzger plan to “produce captivating, genre-spanning content across various platforms using the founders’ expertise and strength as a driving force.”
“I’m excited to partner with my longtime friend and creative rainmaker, Lee Metzger,” Shelton said in a statement. “He was one of the first people I met at ‘The Voice’ and we’re enjoying working together currently on ‘Barmageddon.’ We’ve always been in sync on ideas and projects that interest and excite us.”
He also quipped, “So long as Lee doesn’t screw this up, it’s going to be great.”
Metzger said, “Over the years of working with Blake, we’ve created some incredible T.V. moments, now with the success of ‘Barmageddon,’ we’ve realized we have a creative point of view that an audience loves to watch. I’m looking forward to producing our own brand of entertainment and years of success with Blake.”
He sarcastically added, “Besides, now that he’s left ‘The Voice,’ it’s not like he has anything better to do.”
Blake Shelton Has Also Had Success With Producing TV Movies For Hallmark
In addition to the success of “Barmageddon,” Shelton has been the executive producer on five Hallmark Channel made-for-TV movies, according to Country Now. The first one, “Time For Me to Come Home,” premiered in December 2018 after Shelton’s mom, Dorothy Shackleford, wrote a book based on Shelton’s 2012 song of the same name, and he partnered with Hallmark to turn it into a movie.
That film inspired others, with a new Hallmark movie released each holiday season since 2018, Country Now reported. In 2019, the network premiered “Time for You to Come Home for Christmas,” in 2020 it released “Time for Us to Come Home for Christmas,” 2021’s movie was “Time for Them to Come Home for Christmas” and in 2022, it was “Time for Him To Come Home for Christmas.” All five movies can still be streamed on Peacock.
In November 2022, Shelton said on the From Apple Music With Love holiday special, “We had no idea (the song) was going to end up turning into a book deal for my mom. Then from the book, it became basically this series of movies. It’s amazing what they’re able to do over there, but it’s been a cool experience to have that with my mom.”
For those concerned that Shelton’s TV work may overshadow his music career, which has produced 14 number one hits on the country charts, per Billboard, he says not to worry.
“Walking away from music, you might as well just poison me or something,” he told People in December. “That’s not something I can go without. I can’t help it.”
But Shelton added he was in no rush to release a new album, saying, “I’m really at a crossroads right now. The country music lane is changing so rapidly, and there’s some really good stuff out there. These young kids coming up, it’s amazing to see the music that they’re making and how creative they are,” says Shelton, who has released dozens of No. 1 hits throughout his career.