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[03/23/05 - 12:00 AM]
ABC and BBC Worldwide Are Set to Put on Their Dancing Shoes as the Global Hit, 'Strictly Come Dancing,' Comes to the U.S.

[via press release from ABC]

ABC AND BBC WORLDWIDE ARE SET TO PUT ON THEIR DANCING SHOES AS THE GLOBAL HIT, "STRICTLY COME DANCING," COMES TO THE U.S.

The smash hit BBC show "Strictly Come Dancing" will be reborn in the U.S. following a new production agreement between BBC Worldwide and the ABC Television Network. The U.S. version of the show will feature a new title, new celebrity cast and new judges.

In the first deal of its kind for BBC Worldwide, the variety show will be produced in America for ABC by the in-house BBC Entertainment production team responsible for the hit U.K. version.

The as yet unnamed six-part, primetime series will feature eight celebrities paired with leading professional dancers to train and then compete in a live television knockout ballroom dancing competition. Casting is currently underway, with talent likely to be confirmed in the next few weeks. The lineup is set to include TV and movie stars alongside other American celebrities. The series will be executive-produced for the BBC by Richard Hopkins, creative head of Format Entertainment.

"I am fully aware that this may sound like the craziest show anyone has ever heard of," said Andrea Wong, executive vice president, Alternative Programming, Specials and Late-Night, for ABC. "But in a world where it's easier for reality series to imitate than innovate, I just loved how fresh this format is. And the show's global success just shows how audiences around the world find it to be surprising, and undeniably fun."

Commenting on the deal, Colin Jarvis, BBC Worldwide's director of Format Licensing, said, "Working with ABC in this unique way gives us a new opportunity to develop a hit BBC property in this extremely important market. The reaction to the show around the world has been phenomenal and proves yet again the strength of the in-house format development team within BBC Entertainment. With this pedigree, the show has all the hallmarks of a huge U.S. hit."

Wayne Garvie, head of BBC Entertainment Group said, "Richard and his team have created the television phenomenon of the past year. We are hugely excited about taking our expertise to America and bringing the glamorous, sequinned world of ballroom to U.S. network television."

In the U.K., "Strictly Come Dancing" has won the "Best New Programme Award" at the Broadcast Awards as well as the "Best Entertainment Award" at the Royal Television Society Awards. The show is currently nominated for a BAFTA in the Entertainment Series category and for a prestigious Golden Rose Television Award in the Best Variety Show category.





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· DANCING WITH THE STARS (ABC)





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