ITV scraps Rising Star ahead of launch


ITV has scrapped its version of the Rising Star format before it has launched.

The UK commercial broadcaster was one of a raft of buyers of the interactive singing competition format, which was hugely successful in Israel. However, it has now decided not to push ahead with the UK series amid concerns over ratings and cost.

Keshet confirmed the UK Rising Star has been shelved, marking the second blow for the format this week after RTL in Germany scaled back its run.

There had been concerns in the UK about the interactive technology used in the format, but these have been eased after the roll out of numerous international versions which, aside from a problem with the opening episode of the Brazilian version, have worked technically. The US suffered issues due to the country’s east and west coast time-zones differing.

The lacklustre ratings of ABC’s US version and shortened German version did not help Rising Star’s case in the UK, although it has just tested very strongly on M6 in France.

An ITV spokesman said in a statement: “Rising Star is an innovative show and we have enjoyed working on the format with the team. However, as a commercial broadcaster, we always need to be as confident as possible about the potential ratings of any new programme format that we have acquired, and we have therefore taken the decision not to proceed with plans to broadcast the series on ITV.”

Keshet UK chief operating officer Sammy Nourmand said in a statement: “There’s always a risk attached when launching an ambitious new concept, and we’re obviously disappointed by ITV’s decision not to move forward with Rising Star.”

We would like to extend our thanks to the team at ITV Studios who have worked tirelessly to adapt the format for a UK audience. Rising Star remains an innovative and ground breaking format of which we’re extremely proud.”

The UK deal was announced last November after ITV’s director of television Peter Fincham and Shu Greene, the broadcaster’s director of entertainment, had tracked the format. It was commissioned by director of entertainment Elaine Bedell.

The show was slated to fill the Sunday evening slot being vacated by Dancing on Ice, which is coming to an end in 2015.

UK trade paper Broadcast broke news of ITV’s decision to dump the show.

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