ABC 5 has acquired the franchise for the world-famous talent search "American Idol" (AI) from the show's producer, FremantleMedia.
"It will be called 'Philippine Idol,' " said Perci Intalan, ABC's vice president for Creative and Entertainment Production. He called Inquirer Entertainment from Singapore, where he was meeting with Fremantle Asia execs over the weekend.
The local Idol will be the fifth in Asia, he said. "The others are in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and India. There are over 50 'Idol' productions all over the world." AI was inspired by "Pop Idol," which originated in the United Kingdom in 2001.
ABC 5 is eyeing a July launch.
Terra Daffon, senior vice president for Corporate Affairs, said ABC 5 started negotiating with FremantleMedia two years ago, when Filipino-American Jasmine Trias placed third in AI.
"ABC 5 has built a good working relationship with FremantleMedia through the years," she said. "In the past, the network acquired two of their game shows-'Family Feud' and 'The Price is Right.' Now we're airing AI's season five."
The price tag for the AI franchise is reportedly in the millions of dollars.
"It's a big sum," Intalan conceded.
"It's definitely not peanuts, but we expect to recoup the investment," Daffon said. "You're actually paying for the technical know-how. Along with the franchise comes a production 'bible,' a manual that all licensees follow to ensure consistency of all 'Idol' productions anywhere in the world."
"It's literally as thick as a bible," Intalan said by way of describing the manual. "There's a new and old testament! Imagine, two volumes of an encyclopedia combined. It contains all the production details."
"For example," Daffon explained, "the look and the measurements of the set, the lighting, the requirements for host and judges. Also, the conduct of the auditions, which we are planning to hold in Manila, Cebu and Davao."
Wonder who the judges will be.