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RTL, Germany’s number one commercial channel, has thrown its weight behind Rising Star, a new singing competition from Israeli’s Keshet International, which is one of the hottest shows to debut at TV confab MIPCOM this week.
The German channel has picked up rights for Rising Star and will do a local-language version of the program.
The deal is the biggest so far for Rising Star, which has also sold to France’s M6 (a subsidiary of RTL parent company RTL Group) and Russia’s Rossiya 1.
The German version could also see the first local ratings showdown between Rising Star and The Voice, which airs on RTL competitor ProSiebenSat.1 in Germany. RTL airs the German version of Idols, called DSDS.
In Israel, The Voice airs on Keshet’s Channel 2, the network that commissioned Rising Star from Tedy Productions.
Rising Star features the live singing competitions and celebrity judges familiar to viewers of The Voice, American Idol or The X Factor. The twist with Rising Star is live voting: viewers vote for their favorite contestants via a Rising Star app and the votes are tallied live on air.
Voting is integrated directly into the drama of the show. Contestants sing facing a floor-to-ceiling curtain of video screens. As the votes come in, images of the viewers, culled from their Facebook pages, appear on the screens and the vote total is shown with a rising bar. If the yes votes exceed 70 percent, the video curtain rises and the contestant finishes their song in front of the judges and studio audience.
“Rising Star has all the elements of a classic music talent show, but it brings the well-known genre to a new level,” said RTL programming head Frank Hoffmann. “The interactivity makes it more exciting and more emotional both for the candidates and for the viewers,” Hoffmann added, saying the show represented an “unprecedented” degree of social media integration for a live TV event.
Rising Star debuted in Israel last month, where it has been a huge hit on both first and second screens. Channel 2 posted a market share of up to 49 percent during the show’s broadcast and recorded more than 2.3 million second-screen votes. The total population of Israel is 8 million.
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