ITV and Keshet International have made it official as the British network has acquired hot interactive talent competition format Rising Star. I reported earlier this month that a deal was pending and the partners now say a UK version of the show will be co-produced by ITV Studios and Keshet International UK. The deal adds to ITV’s high-profile competition franchises that include Simon Cowell’s The X Factor UK and Britain’s Got Talent. ITV’s Dancing On Ice is bowing out in 2014 and it’s expected that Rising Star will occupy its slot beginning January 2015. ABC recently landed the format for the U.S. with a 10-episode order for air in summer 2014. The UK acquisition follows other local deals in Hungary (TV2), Italy (Toro), France (M6 Group), Russia (Rossiya1), Germany (RTL) and the Nordics (Nordisk).
Rising Star has been a hot property since its big launch in Israel earlier this fall, which broke ratings records on Keshet Channel 2, scoring a 49.4% household share. The show incorporates real-time voting by viewers via a free app that is fully integrated into the show. Unlike traditional talent competition series that start off with taped auditions, Rising Star is live from the beginning, with contestants auditioning in live performances. In every round, viewers vote via the show’s app during the performance to determine if the act will advance. They perform behind a giant LED scren where images of folks at home appear as they vote. If they reach a voting threshold, 70% in Israel, the screen lifts to reveal the judges and studio audience. Viewers continue to play an integral role in every decision made on the show throughout the entire season. Thus far in Israel, over 9 million votes have been tallied through the app which has been downladed more than 1.5 million times.
ITV’s Director of Entertainment and Comedy, Elaine Bedell said, “It’s rare that you find a genuinely innovative new entertainment format – but Keshet have come up with one and I’m very pleased that it will now be on ITV. The bold real-time voting element means that viewers’ votes control every twist and turn of the live program – and that makes for an incredibly dramatic, emotional and exciting show.”