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ITV readies ‘Operastar’ for market

Reality show to air in U.K. before Mip TV bow

LONDON — The thought of Jimmy Osmond belting out an aria from “Madam Butterfly” with Meat Loaf judging the perf may sound like the late Pavarotti’s idea of hell, but ITV is banking on its latest reality format “Popstar to Operastar” to take the international marketplace by storm.

The net’s production arm, ITV Studios, confirmed Monday that the U.K. commission of the show will bow Friday on its main web ITV1.

Osmond is one of eight contestants lined up to be tutored by opera professionals Katherine Jenkins and Rolando Villazon as they tackle the likes of Mozart and Puccini before a panel of judges including Meat Loaf.

In keeping with the tradition of fare like “The X Factor,” the viewers’ vote will decide the eventual winner as the wannabe divas are eliminated week by week.

“Popstar to Operastar” has been co-created by ITV Studios and U.K. shingle Renegade Productions.

The pair have signed an agreement that involves co-developing and producing scripted formats aimed at the international market.

“Popstar to Operastar” is expected to bow at the Mip sales mart in April.

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