BV brings karaoke to U.S. TV

'Big Break' syndie series makes commoners celebs

“Your Big Break,” a syndie series described as karaoke meets “Star Search,” is coming next year from Buena Vista TV.

Buena Vista and Dick Clark Prods. are mounting a U.S. version of a variety-competition show that’s been a long-running hit in the U.K. (as “Stars in Your Eyes”) and Europe.

The hour-long show features five contestants competing to offer the best impression of their chosen star — with karaoke tracks, costumes, makeup and appropriate settings provided by the show. Winners from each show will try to advance through quarterly semifinal rounds leading up to a grand finale of mimicry in May.

Performances aside, the behind-the-scenes transformation of ordinary folk into celeb clones is a particularly engaging element of “Your Big Break,” said Janice Marinelli, exec VP of sales for Buena Vista.

“One minute you’re watching them work as a waitress or a rug salesman, and then you cut to their transformation into a pop icon emulating a concert performance or a music video,” said Marinelli.

Buena Vista is offering the weekly hour to stations on a straight barter basis for debut in fall 1999.

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