Diane Haithman contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.
The two stars of Ovation’s new dance competition series A Chance To Dance, Michael Nunn and Billy Trevitt, will soon appear as judges on Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance, Nunn said this morning at TCAs.
The crossover is not unexpected. At a TCA panel this morning on the new dance show, Nunn and Trevitt appeared alongside the show’s producers, the father-son team of Nigel and Simon Lythgoe (producers of American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance). It premieres Aug. 17 as one of two new original programming series for Ovation. The other is Johnny Cash: Song By Song, premiering Oct. 7.
The show follows Nunn and Trevitt, two former Royal Ballet dancers who have reinvented themselves as “The Ballet Boyz”, as they audition, select and train an American ballet company in 28 days. Nunn said that their appearance on So You Think You Can Dance will take place “in a few weeks time” and in the meantime the dancers are catching up the series online. Nigel Lythgoe was asked about whether introducing yet another dance show would create the same kind of “fatigue” the reality producer has talked about when it comes to the glut of singing competitions on the air, including Idol and The Voice. Dance, he said, “doesn’t get the same kind of audience as American Idol does in any way, shape or form. Don’t forget, Idol had 32,33 million viewers every week, I think we’re down to 18-19 million, it is enormous, it’s still No. 1″. He added that the much smaller dance audience follows dance wherever they can find it” and that the existing crop of dance shows have increased dance awareness so the general public knows that dance is “not just twiddling around doing a few pirouettes”. Asked afterward about decreasing ratings for So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing With The Stars, the producer said: “I think the ratings are down for television in general…people are finding other things to do”.