EXCLUSIVE: Fox is moving forward with a series order to a U.S. remake of La La Land-influenced British reality show Flirty Dancing. Rob Wade, Fox’s President of Alternative Entertainment, confirmed the pickup to Deadline on Wednesday at TCA.
“We’re really exited by it; it’s got a lot of heart,” said Wade, a former Dancing with the Stars executive producer and major dance fan. The pickup is part Fox brass “looking at what’s working in unscripted at the moment, and I feel like that’s a feel-good co-viewing original format,” Wade said.
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Fox in January ordered a pilot for an adaptation of the Channel 4 series Flirty Dancing, which blends two genres, dating and dancing. In the original, two complete strangers are taught one half of a dance routine and then go on a blind date where they dance. Once they finish the dance, each partner walks away not yet having spoken a word to the other with the hope that they have done enough to warrant a second date.
“Sometimes there is a magical chemistry, and sometimes you see they don’t have chemistry, and it’s pretty obvious,” Wade said.
Fox has added a twist to the original format, with one of the participants, “the picker,” getting to dance with two partners before choosing which one she/he would want to get to know. “The pick” then has to decide if they too liked “the picker.”
The tweak adds a double-jeopardy, decision-point element to a format that is very warm-hearted, Wade said.
The Fox version is produced by Second Star, which produces the original, and All3Media America. Second Star, which is run by former Sky exec Deborah Sargeant, is part of Objective Media Group. Sargeant exec produces alongside Tamsin Dodgson and Objective Media Group America’s Jilly Pearce.
The UK show is hosted by Dancing on Ice judge and Britain’s Got Talent winner Ashley Banjo. Search is underway for a host of the Fox adaptation.
Peter White contributed to this story.