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ABC to Try Ice Dancing with the Stars

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Those who fail to learn from the history of celebrity ice-dancing competitions are doomed to repeat it. In this case, ABC is teaming up with the BBC and the makers of Dancing with the Stars to produce a skating version of Dancing to air later this year. “A skating version of Dancing with the Stars” is also how you’d describe Fox’s Skating with Celebrities, which sprawled on the ratings ice a few seasons ago.

Maybe ABC feels the makers of Dancing will have better luck. Maybe it feels the good ratings for the Winter Olympics bode well for a second shot at the format. Or maybe they think it’s all a matter of how you sell it. I have to love this line from the press release–”the series will feature six celebrities paired with professional stars from the skating world as they dance on ice, reaching speeds upwards of 30 miles-an-hour on two thin blades”–as if the stars will be defying frozen death before your eyes.

On the other hand, for the professional skaters the stars will be paired with, I’m sure it beats doing Snoopy on Ice. Excerpts from the release after the jump:

March 4, 2010, Los Angeles, CA – ABC announced today an exciting new reality-competition program from BBC Worldwide Productions, the team behind Dancing with the Stars, which transforms celebrities into ice dancers over six heart pumping weeks. Premiering later this year, the series will feature six celebrities paired with professional stars from the skating world as they dance on ice, reaching speeds upwards of 30 miles-an-hour on two thin blades.

Competing in a spectacular series of performances, the couples will battle it out on the ice, in themed competition rounds that will test both their performance abilities and athleticism. As the series rolls out, viewers will also be treated to various incredible performances from ice dancing and figure skating champions in a full theatrical-style production.

[snip]

The new program, currently untitled, was developed by BBC Worldwide Productions from the BBC’s Strictly Ice Dancing format. The BBC premiered the original format as an extension of the hugely successful Strictly Come Dancing in 2004, bringing the first televised celebrity ice dancing competition to British viewers. Izzie Pick, currently Vice President, Programming Development, BBC Worldwide Productions, and former Co-EP, Dancing with the Stars will executive produce. Michael Brooks, Emmy®-nominated producer on Dancing with the Stars will serve as co-executive producer. Alex Rudzinski (also DWTS) will direct.

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