ABC bringing Endemol’s Fame Academy to the US

ABC will air Endemol’s Operacion Triunfo, or Fame Academy, as it’s known in the UK. The show is an American Idol-like singing competition, but it “go[es] a step beyond that format by focusing on the training of aspiring pop stars, showing would-be Kelly Clarksons living and studying together in a fully working school of music that doubles as the contestants’ home,” Variety reports.

Specifically, “Performances will still be key to the show, but an almost equal weight will be put on the soapy behind-the-scenes storylines mostly ignored by ‘Idol,’ according to Endemol USA chief David Goldberg.” The series includes a voting component, but contestants can save each other, as each week, “music academy teachers nominate three students for expulsion each week. Remaining students immediately get to save one of their peers, with viewers deciding which of the two left standing get to return,” according to Variety.

The show does not yet have an airdate nor a US producer, but Variety reports that the ABC “show is expected to take place over 10 weeks, with 12 contestants competing for the ultimate prize: money and a recording contract. One early plan has the show airing three times a week, with one episode focusing on the behind-the-scenes reality, another centering on live performances and the third featuring the results.”

The series first debuted in Spain in 2001, and there are versions in 19 other countries.

Pop goes the Alphabet [Variety]

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Plus: an interview with the actor who played Verlox and the ogre.


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Shark Tank

Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.