Sony Pictures Television (SPT) has secured international distribution rights to the Bell Media, Big Machine Label Group-produced music TV show The Launch.
SPT will distribute The Launch format worldwide, excluding Canada, and has its production company, Electric Ray, on board to produce the format in the U.K. In a news release today, Bell Media stated that “the historic deal represents the first time a Bell Media original television format for CTV has been sold for international distribution.”
Also, SPT will also distribute the Canadian series, which wrapped up its inaugural season on CTV last night, for sale outside of Canada.
In Canada, the inaugural season debuted #1 in its timeslot on CTV and delivered a series of consecutive #1 hits. The series’ original songs have already surpassed 4M streams worldwide and continue to grow.
“We are delighted to have The Launch as our first acquisition under our newly formed Future Formats Team,” said Sarah Edwards, Creative Director of Global Formats, Sony Pictures Television. “As soon as we saw it we knew it was the music talent show we had been looking for. It is a unique and authentic look into what it takes to be a successful performer and recording artist in today’s music business, and we are confident that audiences around the world will embrace it.”
“With Sony now on board, this is another huge milestone to the already resounding success The Launch has received for its inaugural season,” said Randy Lennox, President, Bell Media. “This partnership reconfirms Bell Media’s commitment to producing high-calibre and innovative programming and a new TV format that we are sure will resonate with viewers around the world.”
“Season 1 exceeded our wildest expectations!” said Scott Borchetta, Founder, President, and CEO of the Big Machine Label Group. “We are fired up to announce a worldwide format agreement with Sony Pictures Entertainment. Wow! I’m so grateful to Randy Lennox, and all at Bell Media for sharing The Launch vision from the onset and I’m beyond thrilled to see the format earning the opportunity to travel the world with SPT. The goal from the beginning was to give artists a real-life and real-time opportunity like no other, and we appear to have achieved that goal.”
Based on a concept by Borchetta, the series was co-created in association with Lennox and Bell Media, and Paul Franklin of Eureka, in partnership with John Brunton and Lindsay Cox of Insight Productions.
A roster of musical A-listers joined Borchetta as mentors in the Canadian version, including Shania Twain, Boy George, Fergie, Alessia Cara, Mötley Crüe's Julia Michaels, and Sugarland co-founder Jennifer Nettles.
Award-winning producers/songwriters cast alongside Borchetta in the breakout season included OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder, busbee (P!nk, Shakira, Blake Shelton), Dann Huff (producer behind more than 50 #1 hit records ), Grammy-nominated record producer Ian Kirkpatrick (behind multi-platinum hit songs from Jason Derulo and Selena Gomez), and Oscar and Grammy-nominated producer Stephan Moccio, the music mastermind behind massive, inescapable hits like the quintuple-platinum “Wrecking Ball”.
With seven episodes in total, each of the first six episodes kicks off with the introduction of a new original song that has been created by a renowned songwriter. Then, each of the five artists audition for the mentors, for the chance of a lifetime: to record that original song.
After deliberating, the mentors choose two of the artists they feel to have the most potential and are the right fit for the original song, working with them over the next 48 hours to shape the song according to their abilities and strengths. And then it’s showtime: the two artists each perform their rendition of the original song in front of a live audience as the mentors watch their versions of the song come to life, and then determine which song – and artist- will be launched that night.
The season wraps with a seventh and final episode that reveals what happens next to each of the six chosen artists from the moment their song is released, to finding instant fame and through until they join their mentors on the music charts. The episode ends with all six “Launched” alumni meeting for the first time to share their once in a lifetime experiences with one another.