Rising Star arrives to ITV!

The hunt is on for the UK’s very first Rising Star – in a new show which harnesses the power of audience participation.


Real-time voting by viewers via an integrated app is at the heart of the show, due to be broadcast in 2015.


Appointment television


The concept taps into the increasing popularity of ‘appointment television’, fuelled by social media, where viewers want to be at the centre of the action. With Rising Star, viewers won’t just prefer to watch the show live – if they want to participate, they’ll be compelled to watch live.


Auditions will begin in November to find contestants for the show, who will then take part in a live screen test when the series begins next year. As the contestants perform on live television, pictures of the people voting at home start to flash up on the screen.


Four judges also vote, but the decision is largely in the hands of the viewers, with their votes contributing the lion’s share towards deciding whether the contestant hits the 70% approval they need to progress to the next round.


The power of interactivity


Recent research from Carat’s consumer research and insight tool, CCS, reveals that 35% of people now actively plan their evenings around the TV schedule. This is 5 million more people than four years ago, when TV on Demand began to explode.

This behavioural change is being fuelled by social media use – viewers want to be able to discuss what’s happening as the show is airing. Viewers have become more interactive, and the next step is being able to participate actively in the show. Interactive television also helps shape a more active, engaged viewer; who should then be more open to interactive advertising too.


The television app – more influential than Twitter?


Viewers love to cheer on their favourite acts on Twitter – and jeer the worst. The TV app gives them more power than Twitter alone, and hands them the ability to influence the show directly. It can also be much more targeted in terms of advertising – directing users to music stores, for example, or serving ads, which can be coordinated with television advertising. And it allows viewers to see themselves as the stars of the show – even potentially seeing their own face projected onto the show wall as they vote.


Rising Star was devised by Keshet International and commissioned for ITV by Director of Entertainment and Comedy Elaine Bedell. The show had a record-breaking debut on Keshet’s Channel 2 in Israel, capturing an impressive 49.4% audience share, making it the highest debut of a TV show during the country’s September launch season in 15 years. So far it’s been sold to more than 20 broadcasters and territories across the world including the USA, where it launched on ABC this summer. If it takes off in the UK, it could open the door for a raft of other interactive shows in the future.