8:30am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Jennifer Lopez Set as Judge on NBC Dance Competition Series
Jennifer Lopez is expanding her role with NBC's forthcoming dance competition World of Dance.
The Shades of Blue star has added judge and mentor on top of executive producer for the 10-episode series, NBC announced Wednesday. Additional judges will be announced at a later date.
Produced by Universal Television Alternative Studio and Lopez's Nuyorican Productions, the series will give dancers the platform to showcase their talents and the opportunity to receive a life-altering grand prize of $1 million.
In partnership with global dance brand World of Dance, the series brings the world’s elite dancers together to compete in epic battles of artistry, precision and athleticism. Solo dancers will compete against duos and crews in an unlimited range of dance, including hip-hop, krumping, popping, locking, tap, ballet, break dancing, ballroom, clogging, stomping and more.
Handpicked from qualifying events around the country and thousands of online submissions, competitors are divided into three divisions: junior (any size act under 16 years old), upper (groups of 1-4, over 16 years of age) and team (groups of five or more, over 16 years). After an initial audition round, divisions face off in duels until only one of each is left standing.
Experts, including Lopez, will score the acts using a precise point system developed by World of Dance, using the following criteria: routine, execution, presentation and crowd appeal. The epic finale sees the winners from each division will compete for $1 million and the title of “Best in the World.”
"I identify with the struggles, passion, discipline, competition and exhilaration of dance," Lopez said. "I am excited that with this show we can skyrocket a dancer's career and help guide them to success."
Added Meredith Ahr, president of Universal Television Alternative Studio: "This show centers on the need to celebrate and reward the art and athleticism of the dance community and there is no one more passionate about that then Jennifer. Her role at the judges' table takes our joint ambitions to the next level, and we can't wait to get started."
Lopez will exec produce along with Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Benny Medina, Kris Curry, Matilda Zoltowski, David Gonzalez, Matthew Everitt and Al Hassas. Universal Television Alternative Studios will produce in association with Lopez's Nuyorican Productions banner.
World of Dance is one of two dancing competition shows in the works at NBC. It joins Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan-Tatum's untitled entry on which the latter will serve as a judge and mentor. That project is still in development after receiving a six-episode pickup in March.
For Lopez, World of Dance marks a return to her roots after the multihyphenate started as a dancer on Fox's In Living Color and later served as a judge on Fox's American Idol. The deal expands her relationship with NBC, where she stars and exec produces sophomore midseason cop drama Shades of Blue.
World of Dance becomes the latest unscripted series in the works at NBC. It joins Little Big Shots, The Voice, America Ninja Warrior, America's Got Talent, The Celebrity Apprentice and The Biggest Loser as well as newer entries such as Strong and Running Wild With Bear Grylls.