The U.S. is getting its own take on the Eurovision Song Contest after producer Brain Academy struck a deal to develop a North American remake.
The Swedish company, which is best known for producing Keanu Reeves-starring Pop TV project Swedish Dicks, is developing the American Song Contest. It does not currently have a broadcaster attached but it aims to air the version in 2021.
This comes after the Nordic Entertainment Group-backed company struck a deal with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) for the format rights.
The American Song Contest project is being developed by Brain Academy’s Anders Lenhoff and Peter Settman alongside Christer Björkman and Ola Melzig, who have worked on over 20 Eurovision Song Contests between them.
The first Eurovision Song Contest was held in 1956 with the aim of uniting nations and exploring new television technology. Since then, over 50 nations have taken part in this unique competition which reaches nearly 200 million viewers in Europe and beyond every year.
This year’s contest is being held in Tel Aviv, Israel with the second semi-final airing tomorrow and the top 26 contestants competing in the final on May 18. The show is being presented by Israeli model Bar Refaeli, Israeli television hosts Erez Tal and Assi Azar and Israeli television presenter Lucy Ayoub.
However, U.S. audiences might struggle to watch it live after Viacom’s Logo TV did not renew the rights to air the show after launching the competition in 2018. There was some suggestion that Netflix might air it in the U.S. to promote its Will Ferrell feature film Eurovision but there’s nothing concrete. It’s understood that the best way to watch it might be to stream it one of the European broadcasters’ digital platforms, for instance Sweden’s SVT does not currently geo-block it.
“For over six decades the Eurovision Song Contest, powered by public service media, has brought audiences together with its values of diversity, universality and inclusivity,” says the ESC’s Executive Supervisor Jon Ola Sand. “It remains a unique must-see event in over 40 competing countries each year and enjoys a global audience of almost 200 million viewers. As part of the EBU’s overall strategy to grow the ESC brand it’s time for Eurovision to go Stateside to reach even more viewers. We’re delighted that this growth will be overseen by some of the people that have created some of its brightest moments.”
“The timing is perfect. Outside of sports, the Eurovision Song Contest is the biggest TV show on Earth, it unites a continent and everybody gets to vote,” said Peter Settman, CEO and Creative Director of Brain Academy. “We can’t wait to introduce this wonderful competition to the biggest TV market in the world. TV/video audiences are getting bigger every year so this is the perfect time to bring this exciting show to the American public.”
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