To celebrate the 100th episode of Dancing With The Stars, there's an interesting piece in Variety today about the pure disbelief with which the pitch was received by the states. Salient points below...
Conrad Green, the British "factual entertainment" chief who would become executive producer of ABC's version, said that the US was initially hesitant, and even the celebrity component didn't impress: "One network president said, 'If that works, I should resign.'"
The show was also described, rather dramatically one feels, as "a bit like watching a Martian landing. You can't take your eyes off it. There's nothing else like it."
"When everyone else was doing shiny sets and mood lighting," says Green, "we came in with crushed velvet, almost as if The Lawrence Welk Show was re-emerging from our collective subconscious."
Quite an image. What changed in the handover? Well, they dropped a judge, got a sharp-witted host in, in the form of Tom Bergeron, and the pace changed a bit. "We felt we needed to build up the drama a bit more, teasing more," Green says. "Americans are much more competitive. The British celebrities are always apologizing for being competitive, while the Americans are 'Damn right, I want to win.'"-->
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