British production company Electric Ray is developing a UK version of Canadian talent contest The Launch after Bell Media and record label Big Machine struck a wide-ranging distribution deal with Sony Pictures Television.

The international sales arm of the Hollywood studio will sell the format internationally, the first time that a Bell Media original format for CTV has been sold globally, as well as selling the Canadian version.

The music competition series follows what it takes to break a new artist and each episode features unsigned artists auditioning for the chance to learn, record and perform a new original song, mentored by a panel of music industry figures. Five acts are whittled down to two, who are then given 48 hours to record their own versions of the song, working with producers to give it their own style, before singing it in front of a studio audience. The mentors then decide who wins before the song is releases immediately on all music streaming platforms following the episode.

The show was created by Scott Borchetta, Founder of the Big Machine Label Group, which counts Taylor Swift among its artists and launched on CTV in January. It featured stars such as Shania Twain, Boy George and Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx.

Sony-backed producer Electric Ray, which produces entertainment formats including BBC One’s Prized Apart and ITV’s Bromans, is the first international producer to adapt the show. It is currently working on a UK version to pitch to broadcasters.

“We are delighted to have The Launch as our first acquisition under our newly formed Future Formats Team,” said Sarah Edwards, Creative Director of Global Formats, Sony Pictures Television.  “As soon as we saw it we knew it was the music talent show we had been looking for. It is a unique and authentic look into what it takes to be a successful performer and recording artist in today’s music business and we are confident that audiences around the world will embrace it.”

“With Sony now on board, this is another huge milestone to the already resounding success The Launch has received for its inaugural season,” added Randy Lennox, President, Bell Media. “This partnership reconfirms Bell Media’s commitment to producing high-calibre and innovative programming and a new TV format that we are sure will resonate with viewers around the world.”