Sky 1 orders kids talent show “Spelling Star”

Remarkable Television is producing an eight-episode UK version of the spelling competition format, which was created by Endemol Shine Australia.
April 7, 2016

Sky 1 has greenlit the reality competition Spelling Star for an eight-episode run.

The family entertainment series is being produced by Endemol Shine-owned Remarkable Television and based on a format created by Endemol Shine Australia. The original version of the series aired on Australia’s Network Ten as The Great Australian Spelling Bee (pictured) and has been picked up for a second season.

Due to premiere in the UK later in the year, Spelling Star features 20 kids between ages 9 and 13 competing in a spelling bee and other games based around spelling, words and meanings. The show will also delve into the contestants’ back stories and train a lens on parents as they watch their kids compete.

In the final episode, one contestant will be crowned the UK’s Champion Speller.

James Fox and Richard Hague at Remarkable are exec producing. Richard Ackerman commissioned the show for Sky.

Endemol Shine Group launched the format to buyers at last year’s MIPCOM.

“What I love about that show is they’ve found a way to format [a spelling bee] across 10 or 12 episodes,” Endemol Shine USA president of unscripted Eden Gaha said in an interview with realscreen earlier this year. “With the success of MasterChef Junior there are more shows celebrating the prodigy of great, young talent.”

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.