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Created by
  • Jonathan Dowling
  • Bill Toepfer
Original workPopstars (New Zealand)
Years1999–2015, 2021–present

Popstars is an international reality television franchise aimed to find new singing talent. Serving as a precursor to the Idol franchise, Popstars first began in New Zealand in 1999 when producer Jonathan Dowling formed the girl group TrueBliss. Despite all shows in the Popstars franchise having been off air in recent years, it remains one of the most successful TV show formats of all time with the format being sold to more than 50 countries, and producing groups such as Girls Aloud that had success on the UK charts for the next ten years after winning. The show was the inspiration for Simon Fuller's Idols franchise.


International editions of Popstars

The series originated in New Zealand, broadcast on TV2 in 1999, where producer Jonathan Dowling formed the five member all-girl group TrueBliss. Dowling then licensed the concept to production company Screentime in Australia,[2] who then on sold it to TresorTV in Germany before taking it worldwide.[3] Despite all versions now being cancelled, Popstars remains very successful, with the format being sold to over 50 countries.

The show was the inspiration for Simon Fuller's Pop Idol franchise which would dominate reality TV, (along with Big Brother and Survivor) for the next few years.

Although Popstars started successfully in most countries during the early 2000s, the shows gradually began to fail and were dropped by many broadcasters due to poor ratings. The last country where Popstars was still popular and successful – besides other casting shows such as The X Factor and Got Talent, as well as Idol – was Germany. This is where ProSieben produced the ninth season in 2010 because of the show's massive success in the ratings, but in 2012, Popstars was finally cancelled due to the short success of the groups formed throughout the episodes. In 2007, the show returned to France on M6 for one season. A new version of Popstars started in 2008 in the Netherlands and ran for three seasons. Germany's version returned for an eleventh season in 2015, but would later get cancelled following poor ratings.[4] In 2021, a revamped version of the original New Zealand series returned to TVNZ. The new series focuses on individual artists and songwriting development and does not involve putting together a pop group.[5]

Popstars around the world[edit]

Legend:   Franchise has ceased production     Franchise awaiting debut or renewal

Country Local title Network Host(s) Judges Seasons, series, winners, and groups formed Other notable artists
Argentina Popstars: Tu Show Está Por Empezar Azul TV (1)
Telefe (2)
Season 1, 2001: Bandana
Season 2, 2002: Mambrú
Australia Popstars Seven Network Season 1, 2000: Bardot
Season 2, 2001: Scandal'us
Season 3, 2002: Scott Cain
Popstars Live Season 1, 2004: Kayne Taylor Miranda Murphy
Austria Popstars: Mission Österreich Puls 4
Season 1, 2011: Kilmokit Season 1, 2011: BFF
Belgium Pop Stars VT4 Season 1, 2001: Vanda Vanda
Brazil Popstars SBT Season 1, 2002: Rouge
Season 2, 2003: Br'oZ
Season 1: Kênia Boaventura, Janaína Lima, Maíra Charken, Marjorie Estiano and Quelynah
Season 2: Vinícius "D'Black" Cardoso
Canada Popstars (1)
Popstars: Boy Meets Girl (2)
Popstars: The One (3)
CTV (1)
Global TV (2–3)
Season 1, 2001: Sugar Jones
Season 2, 2002: Velvet Empire
Season 3, 2003: Christa Borden
Julie Crochetière
Colombia Popstars Canal Caracol Season 1, 2002: Escarcha
Denmark Popstars (1–3, 5)
Popstars Showtime! (4)
TV 2 (1–4)
Kanal 5 (5)
Season 1, 2001: EyeQ
Season 2, 2002: Jon Nørgaard
Season 3, 2003: Fu:el
Season 4, 2004: Maria Lucia
Season 5, 2014: Linnea
Season 2: Julie Berthelsen and Christine Milton
Season 3: Emil Thorup
Ecuador Popstars Teleamazonas Season 1, 2003: Kiruba
Season 2, 2004: La Coba
Finland Popstars MTV3 Season 1, 2002: Gimmel, Paula Vesala, Mira Luoti
Season 2, 2004: INDX
Season 1: Jenni Vartiainen
Season 2: Jane
France Popstars (1–2, 4–)
Popstars – le duel (3)
M6 (1–4)
D8 (5)
Amazon Prime Video (6-)
Season 1, 2001: L5
Season 2, 2002: Whatfor
Season 3, 2003: Linkup
Season 4, 2007: Sheryfa Luna
Season 5, 2013: The Mess
Season 6, 2024: Upcoming Season
Season 1: Louisy Joseph
Season 2: Chimène Badi
Season 3: Diadems and M. Pokora
Season 4: Léa Castel
Season 5: Sindy Auvity
Germany Popstars RTL II (1–2, 11)
ProSieben (3–10)
Season 1, 2000–01: No Angels
Season 2, 2001: Bro'Sis
Season 3, 2003: Overground
Season 4, 2004: Nu Pagadi
Season 5, 2006: Monrose
Season 6, 2007: Room 2012
Season 7, 2008: Queensberry
Season 8, 2009: Some & Any
Season 9, 2010: LaViVe
Season 10, 2012: Melouria
Season 11, 2015: Leandah
Season 2: Yasmin K.
Season 3: Preluders
Season 5: Bisou
Greece Popstars Mega TV Season 1, 2003: Hi-5
Hungary Popsztárok TV2 Season 1, 2002: Sugar & Spice
India Coke [V] Popstars Channel V Season 1, 2002: Viva
Season 2, 2003: Aasma
Indonesia Popstars Indonesia Trans TV Season 1, 2003: Sparx
Ireland Irish Popstars RTÉ One Season 1, 2002: Six Nadine Coyle
Italy Popstar (1)
Superstar Tour (2)
Italia 1 Season 1, 2001: Lollipop
Season 2, 2003: Lucky Star
Season 1: Valentina Monetta
Kenya Coca-Cola Popstars Season 1, 2004: Sema
Malaysia Popstars ntv7 Season 1, 2003: By'U
Mexico Popstars Televisa Season 1, 2002: T' de Tila Maria León (Playa Limbo)
Ana Brenda Contreras
Netherlands Popstars: The Rivals RTL 4 Season 1, 2004: Men2B (boys), Raffish (girls)
Popstars SBS6 Season 1, 2008: RED!
Season 2, 2009–10: Wesley Klein
Season 3, 2010–11: Dean Saunders
New Zealand Popstars TVNZ 2 Season 1, 1999: TrueBliss
Season 2, 2021: Christabel Williams
Season 3, TBA: Renewal pending
Norway Popstars TV3 Season 1, 2001: Cape
Portugal Popstars SIC Season 1, 2001: Nonstop Gémeas
Romania Popstars Pro TV Season 1, 2003: Cocktail
Russia Stan zvezdoy Rossiya 1 Season 1, 2002: Drugie Pravila (Другие правила; lit. Other rules)
Slovakia Coca-Cola Popstar Markíza Season 1, 2001: Seven Days to Winter
Season 2, 2002: Misha
Season 3, 2003: Zuzana Smatanová
Season 4, 2004: Vetroplach
Season 5, 2005: Bystrík
Season 6, 2006: Ivo Bič
Season 7, 2007: Peoples
Season 8, 2008: Mária Čírová
Slovenia Popstars Kanal A Season 1, 2002: Bepop
Season 2, 2003: Unique
Season 2: B.B.T. and Hajdi Korošec
South Africa Popstars SABC 1 (1–2)
e.tv (3)
Season 1, 2002: 101
Season 2, 2004: Jamali
Season 3, 2010: Nne Vida
Spain Popstars: Todo por un sueño Telecinco Season 1, 2002: Bellepop Jesús Vázquez
Sweden Popstars Kanal 5 Season 1, 2001: Excellence
Season 2, 2002: Supernatural
Season 3, 2003: Johannes Kotschy
Season 2: Martin Rolinski
Switzerland Popstars TV3 Season 1, 2001: Tears
Tanzania Coca-Cola Popstars Season 1, 2004: Wakilisha
Turkey Popstars Kanal D (1)
Show TV (2)
Star TV (3)
Season 1, 2003: Adibin Özşahin
Season 2, 2004: Selçuk Demirelli
Season 3, 2006: Metin Levent
Uganda Coca-Cola Popstars Season 1, 2004: Blu3
Ukraine Суперзірка (Superstar) 1+1 Season 1, 2010: Viktoriya Korzheniuk
United Kingdom Popstars (1)
Popstars: The Rivals (2)
ITV Season 1, 2001: Hear'Say
Season 2, 2002: Girls Aloud
Season 1: Liberty X (finalists), Darius Danesh, Warren Stacey
Season 2: One True Voice, Javine Hylton, Clea, Phixx, The Cheeky Girls, Hazel Kaneswaran
United States Popstars USA The WB Season 1, Early 2001: Eden's Crush
Season 2, Late 2001: Scene 23
Season 1: Nicole Scherzinger, Nikki McKibbin
Season 2: Josh Henderson

Number one singles[edit]

The following is a list of singles that reached #1 in the respective nations of the Popstars artists

Artist Nation Song title Date Album
Bandana Argentina "Guapas" December 2001 Bandana
"Cómo Puede Ser" February 2002
"Maldita Noche" May 2002
"Llega la Noche" August 2002 Noche
"Sigo Dando Vueltas" April 2003 Vivir Intentando
Mambrú "A Veces" November 2002 Mambrú
Scandal'us Australia "Me, Myself & I" April 2001 Startin' Somethin'
Bardot "Poison" April 2000 Bardot
Scott Cain "I'm Moving On" May 2002 Controlled Folly
Rouge Brazil "Não Dá Pra Resistir" July 2002 Rouge
"Ragatanga (The Ketchup Song)" October 2002
"Brilha La Luna" April 2003 C'est La Vie
"Um Anjo Veio Me Falar" October 2003
Br'oZ "Prometida" August 2003 Br'oZ
Sugar Jones Canada "Days Like That" June 2001 Sugar Jones
Fu:el Denmark "Please Please" May 2003 Next, Please
Kiruba Ecuador "Quisiera" April 2003 Kiruba
"Camina" June 2003
"Como Extraño Tu Luz" August 2003
"Me Pierdo" November 2003
"Me Quedo Contigo" May 2004 Baila La Luna
L5 France "Toutes les femmes de ta vie" December 2001 L5
Whatfor "Plus haut" November 2002 Whatfor
Linkup "Mon étoile" November 2003 Notre étoile
Sheryfa Luna "Quelque part" October 2007 Sheryfa Luna
"Il avait les mots" January 2008
No Angels Germany "Daylight in Your Eyes" February 2001 Elle'Ments
"There Must Be an Angel" August 2001
"Something About Us" May 2002 Now... Us!
"No Angel (It's All in Your Mind)" April 2003 Pure
Bro'Sis "I Believe" December 2001 Never Forget (Where You Come From)
Overground "Schick mir 'nen Engel" November 2003 It's Done
Preluders "Everyday Girl" November 2003 Girls in the House
Nu Pagadi "Sweetest Poison" December 2004 Your Dark Side
Monrose "Shame" December 2006 Temptation
"Hot Summer" July 2007 Strictly Physical
Six Ireland "There's a Whole Lot of Loving Going On" February 2002 This Is It
Lollipop Italy "Down Down Down" April 2001 Popstars
Nonstop Portugal "Ao Limite Eu Vou" July 2001 Nonstop
Men2B Netherlands "Bigger than That" December 2004 A Different Way
Raffish "Plaything" December 2004 How Raffish Are You?
TrueBliss New Zealand "Tonight" May 1999 Dream
Hear'Say United Kingdom "Pure and Simple" March 2001 Popstars
"The Way to Your Love" June 2001
Girls Aloud "Sound of the Underground" December 2002 Sound of the Underground
"I'll Stand by You" November 2004 What Will the Neighbours Say?
"Walk This Way" (with Sugababes) March 2007 Stand-alone single for Comic Relief
"The Promise" October 2008 Out of Control


  1. ^ Programmes Popstars
  2. ^ Shaps, Simon (16 April 2009). "Ten Years on, the man who reinvented TV talent shows". www.telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  3. ^ Cleave, Louise (15 July 2000). "'Popstars' concept a hit with US giant". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
  4. ^ Weis, Manuel (1 September 2015). ""Popstars" bald später" [«Popstars» soon after]. Quotenmeter (in German). Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  5. ^ "Popstars". TVNZ. TVNZ. Retrieved 17 April 2021.

External links[edit]