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‘Rising Star’ in a Scandinavian sky

Israeli singing competition show sold internationally for fourth time since its September debut

Debra writes for the JTA, and is a former features writer for The Times of Israel.

'Rising Star' utilizes second-screen technology, giving viewers power over the action. (photo credit: Courtesy Keshet Broadcasting)
'Rising Star' utilizes second-screen technology, giving viewers power over the action. (photo credit: Courtesy Keshet Broadcasting)

 Israel’s hottest television show will soon be heating up Scandinavia.

Keshet International, the global distribution and production arm of Israeli media mega-company Keshet, has signed a deal with Nordisk, a company within Scandinavia’s Banijay entertainment group, for “Rising Star,” the hit singing Israeli singing competition that debuted at home over Sukkot.

“Rising Star” will be produced in Scandinavia for Nordisk Film TV, which covers Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland. Tuesday’s deal marks the fourth international sale for the crooning competition, which was snapped up by companies in France, Russia and Germany last week at MIPCOM, the annual entertainment and TV market held in Cannes.

“Rising Star” has been generating massive buzz since its Israeli debut thanks to its innovative technology, which allows home audiences to vote live for their favorite singers via a dedicated app, essentially drawing them into the action on screen in a way that has never been seen before in voting reality shows. The program has been a major hit among Israelis, drawing, on average, a full half of the Israeli viewing audience for each broadcast and securing a 49.4% market share.

Such a second-screen program, says Jacob Houlind, CEO for the Nordic Group of Banijay Group, will translate well for local audiences across Scandinavia.

“Entertainment shows are popular in the Nordic territories and our audiences demand the most exciting, modern and riveting formats,” he said in a press release distributed by Keshet. “’Rising Star’ brings something fresh and new to the genre while retaining the drama and emotion that make the best talent shows work.”

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