Israel’s Reshet Scales Back Episode Order For Local Version Of ‘The Four’ As U.S. Waits For Third Season Decision


EXCLUSIVE: Israeli broadcaster Reshet has scaled back the episode order for its version of The Four – the international entertainment format adapted by Fox in the U.S.

The network had originally ordered 13 episodes of the show, which was created by Israeli producer and distributor Armoza Formats, but has scaled this back to eight episodes. Three episodes of the show have aired locally on Reshet 13 but it has suffered from low ratings.

The Four is thought to be one of the first shows to suffer following a major split in the Israeli TV industry, which saw Reshet and Keshet split channels last year. It also comes after Reshet pulled out of a planned merger with Channel 10 earlier this month.

While the Israeli version, which is hosted by stars including Muki, Dikla, Marina Maximillian, Ester Rada and Gilad Kahana, is considered the local version of the format given the origins of its creator, unusually, the series aired internationally, including on Fox in the U.S., before it debuted in its home market. The U.S. version, which includes Sean Combs, DJ Khaled and Meghan Trainor, launched in January 2018.

It is thought the poor ratings of the show happened because of a culmination of reasons including an unfortunate ad campaign that saw some adverts placed upside down, talent that wasn’t considered A-list and poor lead-ins.

The show features the four best singing contestants from the start who must compete against each other with the fear of rivals taking their spots. However, unlike in many other markets the show is not filmed live with two episodes shot per day.

Armoza Formats CEO Avi Armoza told Deadline, “There can sometimes be challenges when you take a format from one country to another – each country has different financial and platform capabilities, and when you adapt the show away from the format structure to fit local needs it can lead to something that strays too far from the original. The attempt to shoot two episodes per day didn’t maximize the potential of the format and the 360 approach to its story-telling. Because of this, Reshet 13 has changed the length of the first season of The Four to be more similar to the U.S. adaptation and bringing it to a total of 8 episodes.”

The show has currently been optioned in around 20 markets with a third season launching in Peru and four new licenses coming off the back of Mipcom in Brazil and in Greece. Armoza does not believe the reduced episode order in Israel will hurt its global ambitions.

“Internationally The Four is doing brilliantly and we’re proud of its growth,” he added.

ITV America produces the show in the U.S. and is waiting to hear whether it will return for a third season after its second season ended in August. ITV America boss David George told Deadline earlier this month that while it hadn’t received “massive numbers yet”, it was “solid” when total eyeballs had been taken into account.

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