It's a good day to be a ballroom dancing fan. Not only did ABC reveal the list of celebrities set to appear on their returning dancing competition series Dancing with the Stars, but Starz has also announced that they're partnering with dancers Julianne and Derek Hough to develop an original series set in the world of international competitive ballroom dancing, titled Blackpool.
Blackpool would be a scripted series, which will focus on the prestigious annual ballroom competition n Blackpool, England. The emphasis on the story will be on the dancers' "obsession with perfection and the darker side of the glamorous world of ballroom dance, which has captured the fascination of audiences around the world." Julianne and Derek Hough will not only executive produce the series, but they'll also serve as head choreographers, bringing their own knowledge and experience as dancers to the project.
Julianne Hough spoke of capturing "the true essence" of the world she and Derek knows:
"Derek and I are thrilled to be working with Starz. We feel that their passion and the style, and quality of their programming provide the perfect environment to capture the true essence of this world that Derek and I know so well and means so much to us."
Meanwhile, Derek looks at it as a fictionalized view of the world he experienced growing up:
“I cannot wait to give audiences a fictionalized view of the world that I experienced growing up,” says Derek Hough. “Viewers are going to see a twisted, sexy, funny, dark and passionate side of the drama and politics in the world of ballroom dance that delves deeper than spray tans and sequins.”
As a huge fan of the film Strictly Ballroom, I'm always interested in seeing dramatic, fictionalized takes on the competitive world of ballroom dancing. And while there's at least one scripted dance series airing on TV right now, it should be interesting to see what a premium cable channel does with the concept, assuming this one makes it past the development stage. Hough's made the transition from dancing to acting, with starring roles in the Footloose remake, Rock of Ages and more recently, Safe Haven. Her brother Derek can be found dancing on Dancing with the Stars. In the upcoming season, he'll be partnered with Kellie Pickler.