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Ian Burrell

Ian Burrell edits the Media Weekly pages of The Independent.

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BBC buys new dance blockbuster

Posted by Ian Burrell
  • Friday, 11 September 2009 at 12:58 pm
Ever since Strictly Come Dancing took off in 2004 and saved Saturday nights on the BBC's flagship channel, the corporation has been convinced that twinkling toes are the key to success in the ratings.

So maybe its no surprise that I hear from the States that the BBC is to sign up the hip, young Fox-created American show 'So You Think You Can Dance'. The format is about to go into its sixth series Stateside, so it's a proven winner. What's more its hosted by a Brit, the former children's TV presenter Cat Deeley, 32.

'So you Think You Can Dance' is made by the entertainment impressario Simon Fuller's company 19 and the Lancastrian TV and film producer Nigel Lythgoe, who was a bit of a dancer in his day. A member of the BBC's Young Generation troupe he's now part of an Old Generation of very successful TV executives making lots of money out of dance-based formats, having choreographed 500 TV shows.

The interesting thing about the BBC spending its money on this show is that it's far less corny than Strictly (or the American NBC equivalent Dance with the Stars) and is aimed at a streetwise audience of under 35s - in America it attracts high numbers of young black female viewers. It's a show that celebrates good choreography - rather than celebrities making fun of themselves - and it's more Beyonce than Brucie. 

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