Astro Ria is a Malaysian 24 hour Malay language television network broadcast on the Astro satellite television service. It was one of the first 22 channels to commence broadcast on Astro in 1996. Programs on the network include Malay and Indonesian dramas, films, reality shows, sports commentaries, talk shows, cartoons, and sitcoms. In 2003, Astro Ria was the first Malaysian channel to have a talent show which is based on the Mexican television show La Academia, called Akademi Fantasia. The contest pits 12 singers in a bid to become the winner. The show is so popular in Malaysia and Brunei that a spin-off version was made in Indonesia and Thailand. A second season was made, which enabled Brunei viewers to vote as well. In its third season, 14 contestants instead of the original 12 were competing for the competition and the winner, Mawi became an instant music celebrity. A fourth
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