Paula Abdul is returning to U.S. network TV, and her dance roots, as the host of a new reality series slated to air in January.
The CBS program “Live to Dance” will feature 18 competitors vying for half a million dollars and the title of “Live to Dance” champion. Like “American Idol”, the dancers will compete before a panel of judges, with viewers voting for their favorites during the semi final and final rounds.
The January 4 premiere broadcast will follow dancers from across the U.S. auditioning for Abdul in New York and Los Angeles. Special “Dance Domes” were built in the two cities, where the auditions took place. The performers were allowed to audition in any form of dancing, whether ballet, break dance, tango, tap dancing, or a mixture of styles.
At the end of the debut episode, dancers from all styles, ages, and backgrounds will be selected to join the “Live to Dance” cast. The second episode will feature additional contestants competing in a “Dance Off”. Those winners added to the initially chosen group, for a total of 18 dancers.
The show is based on the British program, “Got to Dance”. Abdul will serve as the program’s executive producer, mentor, and lead expert. “Australian Idol” emcee Andrew Gunsberg will host. Abdul will be joined
on the judges panel by choreographer Travis Payne, known for his work with Michael Jackson, Madonna, Lady Gaga and others; and ex-Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt. Watt also was one of the judges on “Got to Dance”.
Since leaving “American Idol” in 2009, there had been speculation as to Abdul’s next weekly television project. “Dancing with the Stars” or even the U.S. version of Simon Cowell’s “X Factor” singing competition program would have been good fits for Abdul. But, “Live to Dance” gives her behind the scenes power to go along with her on camera appearances.
Abdul’s new TV project is the latest in a group of dance oriented shows to air in the U.S. ABC has “Dancing with the Stars”, Fox broadcasts “So You Think You Can Dance”, and Oxygen airs “Dance Your Ass Off”. In addition,”Live to Dance” adds to the group of U.S. programs spun off of British reality performing competition shows. That list includes “Dancing with the Stars”, “American Idol”, “Skating with Celebrities”, and the soon to air “Skating with the Stars” and “X Factor” .
Two days ago, Bravo TV announced that Abdul’s fellow ex-“American Idol” judge Kara DioGuardi would be part of their new talent reality compeition show, “Going Platinum”.
Mitch Graham, “New CBS Reality Series ‘Live to Dance’ with Paula Abdul to premiere Tuesday, Jan. 4 on the CBS Television Network”, 10/28/10, CBS Express.com.
Natalie Abrams, “Kimberly Wyatt, Travis Payne join Paul Abdul as Live to Dance Judges”, 10/28/10, TV Guide.com.
James Hibbard, “Paula Abdul Returning to Primetime on CBS”, 5/24/10, The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard.com.
Paula Abdul bio, i2010, imdb.com.