3.7 Million Portuguese Welcome Their Version Of ‘Rising Star
With about a month and a half to go before ABC debuts its version of interactive singing competition format Rising Star, the international rollout continues. The Israeli show proxima estrelawas a massive hit for Keshet last year, and its Brazilian iteration (Superstar) bowed last month to strong ratings despite a technical glitch in the debut episode. It’s Portugal’s turn now, with A Proxima Estrella bowing last night on local broadcaster TVI. The launch won primetime with a 32.7% average share, a 14.1 rating and 3.7M total viewers. More than 1.2M votes were tallied via the Rising Star app that puts the fate of the competing acts in the hands of the audience. The app has now been downloaded in Portugal more than 170,000 times, says Keshet. Performers must reach a threshold of 70% positive votes before a giant screen lifts and they are faced with the judges and studio audience, advancing to the next round. Nine performers went ahead last night (here‘s one covering Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep”). Prior to the official airing, TVI drew an audience of more than 1.5M for its test screening with an average audience share of 31% and a 16 rating.

CTV Picks U.S. Take On ‘Rising Star’ or Canada
In other Rising Star news, CTV has acquired Canadian broadcast rights to the upcoming ABC version of the show. The interactive app for the Keshet DCP-produced series will be available in both Canada and the U.S. Executive producers are Ken Warwick (American Idol) and Nicolle Yaron (The Voice). Rising Star will kick off on CTV simultaneously with the U.S. in a two-hour June 22 premiere. The series also will be available live and on demand on CTV.ca and the CTV Go app.

Top Gear’ In Hot Water Over Racial Slur In Unaired Episode
Top Gear
host Jeremy Clarkson has come under fire in the UK for the alleged use of a racial slur. The Daily Mirror late last week published an unaired clip from a 2012 episode Jeremyof the driving show in which it maintained Clarkson used an offensive term while reciting the children’s counting rhyme “Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe.” Clarkson denied the allegations via Twitter, but later issued a video statement saying he had further scrutinized the footage and that in one of three takes in which he mumbled, it did appear “that I actually used the word I was trying to obscure. I was mortified by this, horrified. It is a word I loathe, and I did everything in my power to make sure that version did not appear in the program that was transmitted,” he said. The BBC then released this statement: “Jeremy Clarkson has set out the background to this regrettable episode. We have made it absolutely clear to him, the standards the BBC expects on air and off. We have left him in no doubt about how seriously we view this.” Clarkson has been in hot water before, with the BBC apologizing last month for comments he made in a Top Gear special filmed in Burma. The Guardian reported Friday that lawyers from the firm Equal Justice intend to write to Barack Obama and the ambassadors of every country in which Top Gear is broadcast asking them if the series should continue to air. Top Gear airs in about 200 countries and is on BBC America in the U.S. Equal Justice has represented people who have complained about the show before.