With last season’s American Idol ratings the lowest in the show’s history, Shanghai’s Dragon TV will be hoping the Idol format hasn’t come too late to impact China’s airwaves.
Amongst the latest in a slew of Chinese reality singing contests, the Chinese version of Britain’s Pop Idol will make its debut on Sunday evening. Hosted by Show Luo, Chinese Idol 中国梦之声 is set to feature a panel of celebrity judges, including singers Coco Lee and Han Hong, actor Huang Xiaoming, and Taiwanese television mogul Wang Wei-chung. The program is one of the few Idol productions to have hosted international auditions, so expect to see American, Canadian, and Australian contestants on the show.
Now over a decade old and in decline from its heyday, the Idol franchise has launched in over 45 countries worldwide, with China the latest nation to adopt the format. Where domestic singing contests à la Super Girl 超级女声 once dominated Chinese screens, newly cash-rich Chinese television networks have rushed to buy licensing rights from international producers in recent years, with European and South Korean programs at the forefront.
Chinese Idol will compete against Hunan TV’s The X Factor 中国最强音 in its current season. Ratings juggernaut The Voice of China 中国好声音 is also set to return for its second run over the summer, alongside the resurrected Super Boy 快乐男声 competition. Meanwhile, Superstar China 我的中国星, an adaption of Superstar K 슈퍼스타 K, is being produced by reality television rookie Hubei TV.