More stars to dance on ABC


The November 23rd finale of “Dancing with the Stars” Season Nine on ABC won’t be the end of celebrity dancing this year. The Alphabet Network has lined up a new dance contest, “Let’s Dance,” to fill the void and kick-off for five episodes immediately after the DWTS winner is named.

Comedian Kathy Griffin, who recently released a Christmas album entitled “Suckin’ it for the Holidays,” will have hosting duties. She has previously had primetime acting appearances on broadcast network shows, but her own programs, featuring comedy material that would probably not clear the standards and practices folks at the broadcast nets, have been on Bravo and HBO. The celebrity contestants and judges have not yet been named.

The first three episodes of Let’s Dance will feature stars from all walks of life competing in single, group and duo performances as they train, rehearse and take to the stage to reveal their comedic dance routine in front of a studio audience. After each performance, a celebrity panel will give their comments before viewers across America have the chance to vote for their favorite performance.

From each of the episodes, two performances will be chosen – one by the viewers and one by the celebrity panel. These two acts will then return again to dance in the finale and the chance to win the hearts of the viewing audience. In the finale results show, the one act with the most viewer votes will be crowned America’s favorite and be awarded the grand prize for their personal charity.

Let’s Dance is produced by Fremantle North America in association with UK production company Whizz Kid Entertainment. James Sunderland and Antonia Hurford-Jones are executive producers. Tracy Verna Soiseth is co-executive producer. Let’s Dance first premiered in the UK earlier this year, becoming the #1 new entertainment series launch on the BBC since 2002, and the UK’s #1 new entertainment series launch overall since 2006.

RBR-TVBR observation: One thing’s for sure, Kathy Griffin is not likely to greet the celebrity dancers with “good job” and “that was great” as Tom Bergeron tends to do as they finish their dances and stand before the judges. We’re already seeing comments on Internet TV fan sites questioning whether the edgy comedian will fit into primetime hosting on a major network.

We would note, though, that the full title of the BBC original is “Let’s Dance for Comic Relief,” which gives you a better idea of what this show is about. So don’t expect the stars to be working to get their tango steps just right or to have the judges critique their posture in hold. You can find some of the videos from the UK on YouTube if you want to get a better idea of the concept.