Oz making its own '5th Grader,' 'Dance'

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SYDNEY -- Network Ten will commission Australian versions of the television hits "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" from Fox and "So You Think You Can Dance," from 19 Television.

The announcement of the two new shows in the youth-targeted network's schedule came ahead of the finale Monday of the seventh, and lowest-rated, season of "Big Brother" and amid industry speculation that the reality franchise may have run its course in Australia.

Adding the shows to Ten's existing event franchises, "Big Brother," "The Biggest Loser" and "Australian Idol," is a move designed to "give us 52 weeks a year of exposure," Ten television CEO Grant Blackly told the Australian newspaper last week.

In a 12-week Australian version of "Dance," a format that chief programming officer David Mott said Friday was "one of the most dramatic formats to come our way," Ten will look for "the best undiscovered dancing talent Australia has to offer."

"It has excitement, glamour and style, exactly what the Ten audience expects and a perfect addition to what is already a dynamic entertainment line up for us throughout the year," Mott said.

"5th Grader" will be produced in Melbourne by Roving Enterprises as a 10-episode series set to air from September.

Ten has yet to confirm that it will commission another series of "Big Brother" for 2008.

Beginning in August, Ten will air the third season of the U.S. version of "Dance."
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