| Jonathan Dowling|
Republic of Ireland
17 February 2002
| Ali White|
15 November 2001
| Louis Walsh
Irish Popstars, Popstars: The Rivals, The Late Late Show
Popstars is an Irish reality television series, broadcast and produced by RTÉ One, which ran from 2001 to 2002. The programme is based on the original New Zealand series and is part of the international Popstars franchise. The series follows members of the public auditioning to be part of a new band, with the age limit being 18 years old.
The judging panel included band manager and television personality Louis Walsh, singer-songwriter Linda Martin and music executive Bill Hughes. Walsh was also a judge on the UK version. The programme was broadcast on a weekly basis; starting on November 15, 2001 and ending on February 17, 2002.
Popstars (Irish TV series) Wikipedia
Following the success of Popstars: New Zealand, producers of the show decided to launch the show as an international franchise, with an Irish edition ordered in earlier 2001. Jonathan Dowling later signed on as creator and showrunner of the show, under the working title, Popstars: Ireland, which was later changed to Irish Popstars, before being changed once again to simply Popstars.
Dowling decided to sign Boyzone manager and television personality Louis Walsh; worldwide singing superstar Linda Martin; and international music executive Bill Hughes to be seated as the judges on the programme. Walsh later became a judge on UK version as well, following his successful career on the Irish edition.
With producers planning to have the series to be aired during the summer of 2001, the series did not premiere until November 15, broadcasting during the 2001–02 television season, with 13 weekly episodes ordered. The first season concluded on February 17, 2002, with the series' band being named Six, with Sinéad Sheppard, Emma O'Driscoll, Kyle Anderson, Sarah Keating, Andy Orr and Liam McKenna being elected as the band members.
In mid-2002, it was announced that the show had been cancelled after just one season and that Popstars would be replaced by new singing competition, You're a Star.
The first season contained 13 episodes.