MIPCOM: Endemol’s 'Star Academy' Makes Mideast Comeback

Egypt will air a local version of the re-launched singing competition show, which will also go out on Lebanon's LBCI.

Star Academy, the venerable talent competition show recently re-launched by production giant Endemol, is poised for a comeback in the Middle East following a deal with leading Egyptian channel CBC Egypt that will see a local version of the format launch this month for an initial four-month run.

Star Academy first launched in the Middle East in 2003 and was a huge success for Lebanese network LBCI over eight seasons, ending two years ago.

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The new Arab version of the show, which Endemol Middle East will produce, will go out to some 300 million viewers across the region via CBC and will also broadcast on LBCI. The new series kicks off Sept. 26 with the season finale Jan. 9.

“Star Academy revolutionized TV in the Middle East when it launched a decade ago and quickly became one of the most popular entertainment series in the region," said Lara Haddad, Managing Director of Endemol Middle East." We’re thrilled to be bringing the show back and this time with more ways than ever for fans to enjoy the action.”

The new series will see 16 candidates from different Arab countries trained by a team of professionals at the "star academy" whose goal is to create a single for one selected performer. Cameras will follow the contestants in their day to day training with choreographers, vocal coach teachers and acting coaches.

The Middle East Star Academy show will include a 24-hour channel, a daily access highlights show as well as the weekly primetime live performance every Thursday in which contestants will sing, act and dance in front of a six-member jury. The audience will also vote directly to keep or eject members of the "academy" every week and will be able to interact with the show via social media.

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