9:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Olympian David Boudia to Judge ABC's Celebrity Diving Series (Exclusive)
ABC is adding more gold to its upcoming unscripted series based on the international format Celebrity Splash.
Olympian David Boudia, who earned a gold medal at the London Olympics in the 10-meter diving event, has signed on as the second of three judges on the upcoming competitive diving series, The Hollywood Reporter has learned exclusively.
Based on the international format, Celebrity Splash revolves around celebrities performing complicated dives from varying heights with the assistance of a professional diving instructor who helps each participant with weeks of training. Dives can be from as high as 10-meter high boards with increasing levels of complexity, including backflips, somersaults and other gymnastic feats.
"One of the things I’m so excited about is to see celebrities, who probably have never used a diving board outside of a backyard pool, understand the real difficulties and challenges of diving, and the commitment you need to get really good," Boudia told THR, noting he's excited to be part of a series with broad family appeal. "They may not be my competitors in Rio in 2016, but I know they will develop a new appreciation for our sport, and become the kind of advocates that inspire young divers."
ABC picked up the format from Eyeworks USA in October with CEOs JD Roth and Todd A. Nelson attached as executive producers. Boudia, who earned a bronze in London during the synchronized platform diving, joins five-time Olympic medalist Greg Louganis on the judges' panel, bringing the series' collective medal count to seven.
"David Boudia embodies what we all love about sports -- and television, for that matter -- which is the drama, the excitement and the inspiration that arise from the unexpected, which is exactly what happened when David secured the gold medal for the USA in London this past summer," Roth told THR. "He is the perfect, young athlete to inspire our celebrity divers, and the audience, in taking chances to achieve their goals."
The series, which broke ratings records in the Netherlands and has been sold to markets including the U.K., France and Australia -- will premiere next year on ABC.
Boudia is repped by PMG Sports.