January 08, 2012 5:41pm PT by Michael O'Connell, Lesley Goldberg
TCA: 'So You Think You Can Dance' Adopting Weekly 2-Hour Format
When executive producer and head judge Nigel Lythgoe broke the news of So You Think You Can Dance's upcoming change in format, he used the word "canceled."
His New Year's Day tweet sparked a lot of debate about the future of the series, now going forward in its ninth season without a standalone results show, and during Fox's winter press tour outing, the network tried to clear up what the changes mean for the series and the summer line-up.
“We’re rejiggering the format on Dance, and already we have people saying, ‘How is that going to work?’” said Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly during his Television Critics Association executive Q&A. “We just thought creatively... I think it’s a nice change of format… we want to get a few more shows on in the summer.”
STORY: Nigel Lythgoe - 'So You Think You Can Dance' Results Show Canceled
Speaking to a scrum of reporters after his session, he seemed optimistic about the veteran series and what the change could do for it creatively.
“Some of the purists may say, ‘Oh, I wanted a dedicated night,’ but I think it’s going to make the show itself more exciting," he said. "I think it’s going to be a fun experiment. I know the producers are excited about it. I think the fans are going to like it.”
Speaking of producers, Fox president of alternative entertainment Mike Darnell, on stage after the American Idol panel, confirmed what many expected the lack of a results show would entail.
Darnell says the show will air once weekly, in a two-hour format, with the results layered into the episode.
And though the series may have been down 9 percent, year-to-year, in its 2011 finale, Darnell says it was not a ratings decision. They felt viewers were just more responsive to the two-hour format.
Lythgoe, overseeing auditions for the upcoming season, was not in attendance.