EXCLUSIVE: Claudia Rosencrantz, the former ITV commissioner behind megahits Got Talent and Idol, has revealed more details about the Dancing With Horses entertainment show she is attempting to get away with Fox.
Fox reality chief Rob Wade first discussed the format, billed as Dancing With The Stars but with horses, at the TCAs in January. It has now emerged that Rosencrantz’s production outfit Studio 1 has shot a “high-quality proof of concept pilot” in the UK, featuring a former British royal.
Deadline understands that Prince Andrew’s ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, acted as a judge on the show. Ferguson is a keen rider, and Rosencrantz confirmed her starring role in the pilot. “She was a judge, and she was wonderful to work with,” she said.
Conversations about a series have been put on ice by coronavirus, but Rosencrantz is confident that talks will resume now that pandemic-era production restarts are taking place across the industry.
“It’s been eight years in my head trying to get those horses dancing. It’s literally the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. It’s like Dancing With The Stars but your partner is a horse and it is an absolutely, exquisite, complicated, wonderful show,” Rosencrantz said.
The pilot was shot in the UK because Studio 1 needed access to highly trained horses from Britain and France. Rosencrantz acknowledged that is was “complicated” to shoot, and animal welfare group American Humane was across “absolutely every minute of what we were filming.”
She added that the results were worth the logistical challenges of getting the pilot made. “It made me extremely happy. I saw it, and at last thought I can die happy,” Rosencrantz added.
The former ITV entertainment chief, responsible for ordering global hits including Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, Hell’s Kitchen and I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!, said she has not had conversations with any UK networks over the show.
Rosencrantz and business partner Adrian Woolfe last week launched LIT, a CNN-style entertainment news network that went live across YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. The duo believe that there is a gap in the market for a youth-centric entertainment news brand, bringing “gravitas to trivia.”
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