ABC Bringing Back Figure Skating for 2014-15 Season
ABC is bringing back figure skating.
The network has inked a multiyear pact with Disson Skating to broadcast four figure-skating entertainment specials for the 2014-15 season, marking the return of the sport to the Disney-owned network. From 1993 until 2013, the specials had been exclusive broadcasts on NBC.
ABC will air the first pair of two-hour skating specials in the fall, with the next two airing in early 2015.
Olympic ice-dancing gold medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White, who were announced as part of the new cast of Dancing With the Stars earlier this week, will perform for the series. Brian Boitano, also an Olympic champion, will also take part.
Olympic gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi will host with three-time U.S. national champion Michael Weiss.
“Over the past 25 years, we’ve been proud to create hundreds of skating specials showcasing one of the most beloved sports in the world combined with live musical entertainment,” said Stephen Disson, president of Disson Skating. “This new long-term partnership with ABC is a natural fit, and we look forward to adding to their slate of great, family-friendly programming."
Four events taking place Oct. 19, Nov. 15, Dec. 13 and Dec. 20 will be taped for air. Final airdates will be announced at a later time. The full talent lineup and guest artists will also be announced shortly.
Disson Skating has produced skating specials since 1989, partnering with the biggest names in the sport. including Boitano, Scott Hamilton, Yamaguchi, Kurt Browning, Peggy Fleming, Ekaterina Gordeeva, Dorothy Hamill, Sarah Hughes, Ilia Kulik, Tara Lipinski and Evan Lysacek.
Artists who have appeared include Michael Bolton, Michael Buble, Chicago, Earth Wind & Fire, Aretha Franklin, the Goo Goo Dolls, Josh Groban, Jewel, the Jonas Brothers, Gladys Knight, Barry Manilow, Audra McDonald, Smokey Robinson and Seal.
The televised broadcasts will be handled by IMG Productions.