ITV Closes Curtain On ‘Rising Star’; UK Version Will Not Go Forward

In a fairly shocking development, the UK’s ITV has elected not to proceed with its version of interactive singing competition Rising Star. The network won the rights to the format in November with plans to make the local take a a co-production of ITV Studios and Keshet International UK. Other versions have launched thus far in Brazil, Portugal, the U.S. and Germany. Although Brazil re-upped for a second season and Portugal saw strong ratings, the ABC series that aired this summer faced challenges. It’s also been reported that Germany’s RTL is scaling the just-launched series down to seven episodes rather than the planned 10. I’m now hearing that other territories could also be scrapping their plans for Rising Star.

Concerned over audience response elsewhere, ITV informed production staff of its decision this morning, UK industry trade Broadcast first reported. An ITV spokesperson tells Deadline, “Rising Star is an innovative show and we have enjoyed working on the format with the team. However, as a commercial broadcaster, we always need to be as confident as possible about the potential ratings of any new programme format that we have acquired and we have therefore taken the decision not to proceed with plans to broadcast the series on ITV.” The show had been expected to air beginning in January in the slot vacated by the outgoing Dancing On Ice. I’m told that was never set in stone, but ITV is likely to now be on the hunt for a replacement for both.

Keshet International, which just this weekend launched Help! I Can’t Cook to record Israeli ratings, is prepping the Mipcom TV market that runs early next month. That will mark one year since Rising Star made huge waves on the Riviera with buyers flocking to the format after a massive debut on Israel’s Channel 2. Keshet UK’s Sammy Nourmand told Deadline today, “There’s always a risk attached when launching an ambitious new concept and we’re obviously disappointed by ITV’s decision not to move forward with Rising Star. We would like to extend our thanks to the team at ITV Studios who have worked tirelessly to adapt the format for a UK audience. Rising Star remains an innovative and ground breaking format of which we’re extremely proud.”

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