ABC fires up 'Dance Machine'

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ABC, home of the hit reality series "Dancing With the Stars," is adding more dancing to its schedule.

The network has picked up "Dance Machine," an unscripted series from RDF USA, with a five-episode order.

Although the networks are expected to add more reality programming for midseason in case of a lengthy writers strike, the deal for "Dance" was well under way before the walkout began Monday.

The show, now casting for a January production start, is described as a dance competition featuring real people competing for a cash prize.

"Ordinary people, extraordinary circumstances and a whole lot of money on the line," RDF USA CEO Chris Coelen said. "The show embodies everything a large, network format should."

Coelen and RDF USA executive vp development Greg Goldman are executive producing the series with Metro Entertainment's Brian A. Veskosky.

Details about the premise of the show are being kept under wraps, but the casting call notice stresses that "you don't have to be a trained dancer to take home the cash -- all you need is lots of energy and the willingness to leave it all out on the dance floor. We are looking for all types of people -- from the cool 21-year-old hip-hop dancer to the sassy salsa-dancing grandma!"

Created by Goldman, "Dance" is the company's second homegrown reality format after "Don't Forget the Lyrics!" and the first conceived in-house.

It also marks RDF USA's third series for ABC, joining "Wife Swap" and "Shaq's Big Challenge."
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