Star Academy (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Star Academy is a highly successful television show format produced by Endemol, that has been broadcasted in over 50 countries. It is a pop music talent contest with viewer voting and reality show elements.
There are many versions of the Star Academy show, each country having its own slight variations, but the basic concept remains the same: contestants live in a boarding-school called "The Academy", managed by a director, and various teachers coach them in several artistic disciplines. The participants are filmed with hidden cameras throughout the day and night (an idea borrowed from another of Endemol's major reality shows Big Brother). Once a week, the contestants have to face a prime time show, where they sing the song they've prepared during the week before, as well as recapping their trials and tribulations at The Academy from the past week. The live show will often feature special guest stars, with whom some of the contestants have the opportunity to sing. Based on the judges' verdicts and viewer voting, the weakest contestant is dropped. The eventual winner is awarded a record deal, or similar prize.
The Star Academy concept belongs to the Spanish production company Gestmusic, a Spanish branch of Endemol. The first country to broadcast the format, however, was France on October 20th, 2001. Two days later, Operación Triunfo, as the show is called in Spanish speaking countries, went on the air in Spain.
From then on the Star Academy phenomenon began to spread in an unstoppable way, being impelled by the sweeping success of the contest in major media markets like France or Russia.
Nowadays, Star Academy is the second most expanded reality show, just behind Big Brother, and has reached markets as different as India, Middle East and United States, becoming the first Spanish format ever acquired by these countries.
Pan regional version with 11 African countries involved: Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Joint version with contestants from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
Adaptation for the Maghreb area. Countries taking part: Morocco, Algeria, Libya and Tunisia
Joint version with 18 Middle East countries taking part in it (watching, voting and/or with a contestant): Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, UAE and Yemen.