The company behind the Israeli singing competition hit “Rising Star” has formed a joint venture with the parent company of dick clark productions to develop, finance and deliver unscripted programs in the U.S.
Keshet International, the global distribution and production arm of Keshet Media Group, and DC Media have formed Keshet DCP, combining Keshet’s global unscripted business with DC Media’s U.S. infrastructure and production operation. Keshet Media Group CEO Avi Nir and DC Media CEO Allen Shapiro made the announcement on Oct. 2. Keshet International managing director Alon Shtruzman brokered the deal with Shapiro.
“‘Rising Star’ is a huge hit in Israel — the next generation in singing competitions,” Shapiro told Billboard.biz. “‘Master Class’ is another music show involving children that’s been a big hit in other territories. These two shows are examples of how creative this group is and, with dcp’s history, I am sure there will be other shows.”
“Rising Star” is the first show to successfully integrate home audience voting with a televised singing competition. Through an Internet app, the audience votes on whether a contestant gets to advance to a successive round. The show’s debut scored a phenomenal 44.7 percent market share in primetime on Israel’s Channel 2 network, seven times the rating for its nearest competitor, the Hollywood Reporter reported. Ratings have since increased — the third episode was watched by 49 percent of the homes that had televisions on at the time.
The show replaced the Israeli version of “Pop Idol,” which went off the air after 10 seasons. “Rising Star” will be competing this month in Israel with the return of the local version of “The Voice” and the premiere of an Israeli “X Factor.”
Shtruzman and Shapiro say they already have interest for U.S. networks in creating an American version, as well as a Spanish-language version, for U.S. audiences. They will be pitching the format at the international television market Mipcom that begins Oct. 7 in Cannes, France.
Under the deal, Keshet DCP will have the U.S. rights to KI’s catalogue of more 20 unscripted formats, as well as Keshet’s future unscripted formats. “Master Class” has already been sold to five territories.
The partnership will also serve as a platform for the companies to jointly develop, produce and finance new unscripted formats for the international marketplace.
Keshet developed the show that Showtime’s “Homeland” is based on, “Prisoners of War”; DC Media’s programs include “So You Think You Can Dance,” the American Music Awards, Golden Globe Awards and the Academy of Country Music Awards.