Its neighbors across the Channel may have kiboshed a planned UK version of Rising Star, but France has embraced its local take with a record-breaking debut on M6. The interactive singing competition kicked off on Thursday night in France with an average audience of 3.8M viewers and peaked at 4.7M. Those numbers make it the most successful launch for the channel since 2007. The show was the No. 1 broadcast of the night in terms of the channel’s target group of housewives under 50, attracting a 29 share in the demo. In terms of overall ratings, Rising Star France had an average 16.9 share and ranked as the second most watched broadcast of the evening. There were 3M votes logged via the 6Play app. (Above is video of contestant Larry Lynch from Nice; jury members are singer Cali, nightclub fixture Cathy Guetta, scion/singer/race car driver David Hallyday and radio exec Morgan Serrano.)
Last week’s live test attracted an average of 3.7M viewers and peaked with 4.6M. Executive Director of Programs at M6, Bibian Godfroid, said at the time, “We will be satisfied if we reach the same ratings for the premiere… Some countries have created versions of the show which are more loosely based on the original. We have focused on talent, emotion, empathy. That is why we will reproduce the series, as in Portugal and Israel, where ratings are good.” In Britain, ITV ultimately walked away from its planned Rising Star adaptation last week with concerns over audience response elsewhere. But the French do tend to love these kinds of programs. When Star Academy, based on the Spanish Endemol format Operacion Triunfo, debuted in 2001, it took the country by storm. The winner of that cycle, Jenifer Yaël Dadouche-Bartoli (better known as just Jenifer), was more popular at the Cannes Film Festival than many of the red carpet luminaries that year. She’s now a judge on France’s version of The Voice and has remained a People-magazine-esque fixture these past 13 years.