The Business of Being 'Idol'

Jag Gundu/Getty Images

"Idol" is everywhere. Between local productions and the U.S. broadcast, more than 150 countries carry the show.

Homegrown versions of Idol's blockbuster format have launched in more than 40 countries around the world, and they are as distinct as their audiences: Germany's has a lot of physical slapstick. The French judges emphasize the importance of emotive gesticulation while singing. In the Pan-Arab and Malaysian shows, males and females can't share the same house, and kissing and hugging is prohibited onscreen. And though open competition and the audience-voting format is one that Western fans take for granted, it's a concept that is just now catching on in countries that are newer to Idol -- and democracy. Here is a look at Idol's vast and fascinating global influence.

Hay Superstar!
The series debuted in 2006 and wrapped in 2010 after four seasons.

Australian Idol
The series enjoyed a seven-cycle run Down Under after debuting in 2003.

Launched in late 2002 by Belgian television network VTM, the series first introduced in its fourth season the now-popular "save rule" featured in American Idol.

This South American installment debuted in 2006 and lasted four seasons, ending in 2010.

Music Idol
The series debuted in 2007 and lasted for three seasons.

Canadian Idol
Consistently Canada's top-rated summer show, it ran for six seasons on CTV until 2008.

Hrvatski Idol
The Eastern European spinoff ran for two seasons from 2009 to 2010.

Czech Republic
Cesko Hleda SuperStar
The series debuted in 2004 and ran for three seasons, ending in 2006.

Ærlig jagt. Ægte talent
The show debuted in 2003 and is currently in its sixth season.

East Africa
Idols East Africa
Only one season aired of this African spinoff, in 2008.

Estonian Idol
Currently in its fourth season, the series is one of the most popular shows in the country.

After four seasons, Idols was placed on hiatus and replaced  in 2010 by The X Factor. It returned in February and has been renewed for a sixth season.

Nouvelle Star
The Franco-European version of Idol lasted eight seasons from 2003 to 2010.

Geo Star
After debuting in 2006, the series lasted until 2010.

Deutschland Sucht Den Superstar!
One of Germany's most successful shows, DSDS -- as it's often called -- is in its eighth season.

Super Idol
The Greek version of Idol debuted in 2010 and is now in its second season.

The series lasted for four seasons, ending in 2009.

Indian Idol
The finale wrapped last year after a five-season run that began in 2004.

Indonesian Idol
Debuting in 2004, the show took a hiatus after its fifth season due to low ratings but returned for a sixth and final season in 2010.

SuperStar KZ
The show, which ran from 2003 to 2007, featured songs sung in Russian, Kazakh and English.

Latin America
Latin American Idol
Filmed in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the show is hosted by Latin pop star Jon Secada and seen in more than 23 countries.

Makedonski Idol
The new series is in its first season.

Malaysian Idol
This spinoff lasted two seasons, from 2004 to 2005.

New Zealand
NZ Idol
This Kiwi version debuted in 2004 and ran for three seasons.

This African offshoot debuted in 2010, on the occasion of the country's 50th anniversary, and celebrated the national slogan, "Live your dream. Accept no limitation."

This Scandavian version debuted in 2003 and allowed contestants to perform original songs. It ended its run in 2007.

Featuring contestants from multiple countries, including Libya and Syria, the show ran from 2003 to 2008.

It debuted in 2002 and ran through 2005.

After a four-year absence, the show returned for a third season in 2009 with new hosts. Season 4 kicked off last fall.

Narodny Artiste
The show debuted in 2003 and ended its run in 2006.

Serbia Montenegro
Produced in Belgrade, the show lasted two seasons, ending in 2005.

Singapore Idol
Debuting in 2004, the show was put on a brief hiatus after Season 2 but brought back on Singapore's National Day holiday in 2009 for a third installment.

Slovensko Hlada Superstar
The show had a three-year run from 2004 to 2007.

South Africa
Currently in its seventh season, the show has the distinction of showcasing the first and only time that just two male singers and 10 females made it to the final 12.

South Africa
Afrikaans Idol
A spinoff of the country's original, this show launched in 2006 and was broadcast only in Afrikaans. It lasted for only one season.

This offshoot lasted for seven seasons, ending in 2010.

The Netherlands
Its debut started with four
judges, but in Season 2 the panel was cut to just three. It ran from 2003 to 2008.

Pinoy Idol
This version lasted only one season, in 2006.

This 2004 offshoot also only lasted for one season.

United Kingdom
Pop Idol
The show that started it all debuted in England in 2001 and lasted through 2004, when it was replaced by The X Factor.

Vietnam Idol
The Southeast Asian country's version debuted in 2007 and ran through 2010.

West Africa
Idols West Africa
Based in Nigeria, the show featured contestants from countries throughout West Africa. It ran for only one season, in 2007.

World Idol
Using the set from the second season of the U.K.'s Pop Idol, this global performance show was held on Christmas Day in 2003, with the results show a week later on New Year's Day.