Mediaset Takes Keshet's 'Rising Star' for Italy's Canale 5

From the U.S. version of "Rising Star" on ABC

The Italian version of the interactive music competition, which airs on ABC in the U.S., will start with an eight-episode run.

ROME -- Keshet Media Group announced Thursday that its innovative interactive talent show Rising Star will run in Italy on Mediaset's Canale 5.

The program, which allows viewers to vote for the performers via a special mobile or web app created for the series, will kick off its Italian version with an eight-episode first season run in 2015.

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Keshet has licensed Rising Star to some 25 territories over the past year, including the UK, Germany, and Brazil. In the US, the show goes out on ABC. The format, a hit in its original airing in Israel, was the fastest-selling show of 2013. 

Italian production shingle Toro, which is part of Sony Pictures Entertainment Group, will produce the local version of Rising Star.

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Terms for the deal were not disclosed.

The new program comes at a time as Mediaset, which is controlled by former Italian Prime Minister and billionaire media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi, struggles to return to profitability. The company reported its first-ever full-year loss in 2012, and though it produced a small profit last year early results from 2014 have been a mixed bag.

Twitter: @EricJLyman