The Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) has announced plans to produce a second series of its popular reality talent show, MusicStar.
The programme, which gives television audiences the power to choose their favourite singer, will return to the small screen later this year.
The first series of MusicStar quickly established itself as the most popular entertainment show on Swiss television.
More than 1.5 million viewers tuned in to watch the live final in February, making it one of the highest-rated shows in 20 years.
Announcing details of the new series, the SBC - the parent corporation of swissinfo - said the programme format would remain essentially unchanged.
But the show’s producers said they would be extending their search for new talent. In the first series, open auditions were held only in the German-speaking part of the country.
This time around, MusicStar’s team of talent spotters will also be searching for the stars of tomorrow in French- and Italian-speaking regions of Switzerland.
SBC project manager Toni Wachter said all contestants would have to able to speak German and understand Swiss-German dialect to be eligible to take part.
Unlike the first series, those selected to appear on television and perform in front of a studio audience week after week will be expected to display a talent for dancing as well as singing.
Dance and voice coaches have been appointed to train those chosen to sing for survival and to groom them for future stardom.
The winner of the first series, Carmen Fenk, scooped a record contract with the Universal label. Her debut album, “Fenkadelic”, went straight to the top of the charts.
Others who made it through to the MusicStar final have been less successful in the cut-throat world of popular music.
Piero Esteriore, a runner-up in the first series, was picked to represent Switzerland at the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest in the Turkish city of Istanbul.
But the former hairdresser from Basel suffered the humiliation of crashing out of the contest without winning a single point.
The SBC does not, however, believe that Esteriore’s lacklustre performance at Eurovision will put would-be contestants off from auditioning to take part in the programme.
And it expects to match or exceed the viewing figures registered during the first series.
MusicStar will return to Swiss television screens at the end of November. The final is due to be broadcast in February.
swissinfo with agencies
MusicStar is based on the Austrian reality talent show StarMania.
Some 3,000 hopefuls applied to take part in the first series of the show.
The show's producers expect to exceed that number for the second series, which begins in November.