One of the first competitive {{reality show}}s, running long before reality television was considered a genre. It considered itself a TalentShow with prizes. It would run in UsefulNotes/{{syndication}} from 1983 to 1995. Alfred Masini created the program in the wake of his success with the 1981 debut of another show of his, ''Series/EntertainmentTonight''.

Ed [=McMahon=] hosted the early version. Every week, various acts came onstage to perform. The nature of the act could be anything; singing and dancing were popular, but nothing was out of bounds. Every week, someone was declared the winner, and would get to compete in the last show of the season. The final winner got a cash prize that was large for the time.

''Star Search'' was, for the most part, only slightly better at producing big stars than ''Series/AmericasNextTopModel'' is at producing top models. This did not affect the show's popularity in the slightest.

''Star Search'' was the blueprint for [[FollowTheLeader a large number of other shows.]] Eventually, the idea would cross the Atlantic; and when it crossed back, havoc broke loose. Yes, without ''Star Search'', ''Series/AmericanIdol'' and ''Series/AmericasGotTalent'' [[SpiritualSuccessor might not exist]]. ''Star Search'' itself was revived in 2003 with Arsenio Hall as its host, with a wild deviation from the original (and one much closer to ''Series/AmericanIdol'', with a fan vote contributing to scores). A 12-year-old [[RetroactiveRecognition David Archuleta]] appeared in the show's second series.
!!Provides Examples Of:
* TheRunnerUpTakesItAll: Numerous people have failed to win but become famous anyway, among them Music/{{Aaliyah}}, Music/ChristinaAguilera, Drew Carey, Creator/DaveChappelle, Music/DestinysChild, Music/AlanisMorissette, Kevin James, Creator/DennisMiller, Music/{{Usher}}, Rosie O'Donnell, [=LeAnn=] Rimes, Music/JessicaSimpson, Music/BackstreetBoys, Music/BritneySpears, and Music/JustinTimberlake.
* TalentShow