BBC's Season Debut of 'Strictly Come Dancing' to Avoid Clash With 'X Factor' U.K.

2:35 AM PST 09/06/2012 by Georg Szalai
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The British hit show, the country's version of "Dancing With Stars," will start off without an overlap with Simon Cowell's ratings winner on ITV.

LONDON - The BBC will air the season debut of Britain's hit ballroom dance show Strictly Come Dancing on Sept. 15 at 6:30pm, avoiding a clash with ITV's U.K. version of Simon Cowell's X Factor.

The country's version of Dancing With the Stars airs on BBC1 and enters its 10th season. Its first episode of the season will overlap with the first 10 minutes of  Cowell's ITV game show Red or Black, but not with X Factor, which follows it, according to published TV schedules.

X Factor, which is in its ninth season here, has started off the season with lower ratings, but has remained the top ratings draw in the country on Saturday nights. Industry observers were wondering if Strictly would start off in an overlapping time slot.

The shows may overlap later in the season as British networks traditionally announce their programming schedules only a week-plus ahead of time and change start times.

The BBC and ITV had a much-followed ratings battle with music competition shows earlier this year when The Voice U.K. on BBC1 for a few weeks beat out Cowell's ITV show Britain's Got Talent.
 
The lineup of British celebrities for this season has not been unveiled yet, but Strictly previously announced that prima ballerina Darcey Bussell would replace Alesha Dixon on the show's judging panel.

Girls Aloud singer Kimberly Walsh, TV personality Johnny Ball and Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle have been mentioned as possible celebrity dancers this season.

Strictly will air on Saturdays through Dec. 22.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com
Twitter: @georgszalai

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