ABC’s ‘Rising Star’ Juggles Time Zones to Allow For Live Voting

ABC's 'Rising Star' Juggles Time Zones

ABC’s new talent competition series “Rising Star” revolves around real-time live voting by viewers to determine which singers advance through the various rounds.

The show has been a hit in Israel and other territories, but the big question for the U.S. rendition is how producers would grapple with the pesky issue of time zone differences across the vast expanse of the 50 states.

The solution derived by exec producers Ken Warwick and Nicolle Yaron is to work live cut-ins to the West Coast airing that would reflect voting done by left-coast viewers. The show, set to premiere on Sunday June 22, will air live in most of the country — 9-11 p.m. ET, 8-10 p.m. CT and 7-9 p.m. MT — to accommodate the real-time voting format. West Coast viewers will still be able to influence some of the competition by tipping the scales for contestants who may not get enough votes in the East Coast airing to advance.

According to the “Rising Star” rulebook, contestants have to have a thumbs-up from 70% of those voting to advance to the next round.

Yaron said they spent time studying how sports and news producers handle time-zone challenges and decided that live cut-ins were the way to go. “Rising Star” will be produced out of L.A., allowing producers and talent to adjust on the fly during the West Coast airing. ABC affiliates in Mountain time zones agreed to shift their time slot back an hour in view of the format.

“The clever thing with this show is that there’s no waiting until the end of the show to go to the phones,” Warwick, an “American Idol” alum said. “When you hit your app with yes or no, the result hits the broadcast screen within one and a half seconds. By the time the kid finishes the song, we’ll know whether (he or she) is moving on.”



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  1. WP says:

    Count this California young adult (your target market) out. Yet another example of East Coast bias and I’m really tired of it. Happens in football too. And hockey… the Kings win the Stanley Cup and barely a mention on GMA and Kelly & Michael. I’m sure that had the Rangers won, full segments would have been devoted to the victory. Get a clue ABC. We watch TV whenever during the day on weekends but the content has to be worth it. How many millions will be watching the USA soccer game in the middle of our afternoon? Like Josh Groban but hope the show fails. Can’t wait to see the West Coast show ratings.

  2. Jesse B says:

    I will NOT be watching. I was excited about the show but once I found out the West coast votes will be practically useless….I became immediately uninterested. It is just not fair for the people living in the West coast. They screwed this up!

  3. Linda says:

    I agree that it is not fair to the West coast viewers. I quit watching several shows where the west coast couldn’t vote on the instant saves because of the time difference. I guess this one won’t be on my viewing schedule!!! Darn!

  4. RF says:

    I totally agree with the others. I was all excited to watch this, but now I have scratched it off my list. Bad move ABC!

  5. MJ says:

    Why can’t Rising Star air live in the Pacific time zone? Last time I checked, the networks still programmed 6-8 PM on Sundays. Is airing (pre recorded) Wipeout at 6:00 on the west coast that important to ABC?

  6. bawatts11 says:

    Won’t be watching! Tired of all these singing competitions – this is lame. Tired of seeing wannabes become failures & the use of the judges picked & host was only to help viewership. Well don’t care for any four of them. TV as a whole leaves nothing to be desired, these networks are terrible at picking out shows that will bring viewership & let some tv series runs to long.

  7. West Coast potential viewer here – I won’t be watching this show because the entire premise of the show won’t even apply to us. The West Coast “solution” is really lame. It’s so stupid that most of this stuff is *filmed* here, but it’s clearly catered to the East Coast. Just like the save on the Voice. What a turn off. Stop trying to make this crap work when it doesn’t in our country.

  8. Sarah Lopez says:

    Why are all your judge’s very young and how are they picked, I have been Singing since I was 14 and I am 62 now and still out there Singing, there are so many genre of music out there, It’s not always the Dynamics, It can also just be a Facile style like Billie Holiday simple and effortless a wide variety of qualities of simplicity.

  9. JW says:

    I feel sorry for the producers who were forced to come up with such a clumsy system. Someone should have had this worked out before the show was sold to the US.

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