ABC announced on Monday that it has ordered 10 episodes of Israel's hit reality series "Rising Star." The show -- a singing competition -- has been a phenomenon in Israel, pulling in almost half of all TV audiences in the country when it airs, according to its producer, Keshet Broadcasting.
Still, it seems a risky time to launch a new televised singing competition in America. Fox's "American Idol," once a juggernaut that spawned a wash of imitators, is struggling. Earlier this year its ratings dipped to a 10-year low.
"The X Factor" is also suffering from sagging ratings, and there are rumors that it might get the ax. This despite the fact that its creator, "Idol" alum Simon Cowell, recently signed a deal to keep the show on the air through 2016 in the U.K.
Only NBC's "The Voice" is performing well, with ratings steadily climbing. It is currently the No. 1 performer in its Monday-night time slot.
It will be interesting to see if "Rising Star" can gain traction in this oversaturated environment. ABC is banking on it, and hoping that the show's novel format will be enough to make the show stand out from other singing competitions.
"Rising Star" tracks hopeful singers as they participate in a series of live auditions. The television audience then votes for winners in real time via a special app. During their performances, the singers can see how the voting is shaking down. Not surprisingly, the results can be pretty dramatic.
ABC has slated "Rising Star" for the summer of 2014.
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