Fox Snags Dance-and-Dating Unscripted Show 'Flirty Dancing'

Rob Wade-Publicity-P-2019
Courtesy of FOX

Fox is bolstering its unscripted roster with a show that combines two well-established reality genres: dancing and dating.

The network has given a green light to Flirty Dancing, in which single people each learn half of a choreographed dance routine — then meet their partner for the first time while performing the full number. They don't speak during the dance and decide if they want a second date based only on their performance together.

The show is based on a U.K. format. Flirty Dancing, hosted by choreographer Ashley Banjo, premiered on Channel 4 in January and has been renewed for a second run. 

Rob Wade, Fox's president of alternative entertainment, is a former Dancing With the Stars executive producer and a fan of the genre.

Fox ordered a pilot of the show in January, with one wrinkle on the U.K. version: One participant will dance with two different partners and then pick which one they'd like to get to know better. The chosen person then can decide to reciprocate (or not). Jenna Dewan will host the Fox show, which is due to premiere in early 2020.

Flirty Dancing comes from Second Star, which produces the original, and All3Media America. Second Star's Deborah Sargeant executive produces with and Objective Media Group America's Jilly Pearce. Objective owns Second Star.

The series will join a lineup of unscripted shows on Fox that includes breakout hit The Masked Singer; long-running franchise So You Think You Can Dance; Gordon Ramsay-led Hell's Kitchen, Masterchef, Masterchef Junior and 24 Hours to Hell and Back; docuseries First Responders Live; and game shows Beat Shazam, Spin the Wheel and Mental Samurai.

The network has also launched its own unscripted studio, Fox Alternative Entertainment, headed by Wade, that will develop projects Fox will then own (it is bringing The Masked Singer in-house, for instance). Flirty Dancing, however, comes from outside providers. 

As Fox forges its way as an independent network following the sale of former sister studio 20th TV to Disney, CEO Charlie Collier says he's looking for big swings in entertainment programming. "We're vying with the best in the business for writers and creative partners and we're committed to making sure they know what Fox is building and what kind of home it will be," he said Wednesday at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour.

Deadline first reported the news.

Oct. 9, 11 a.m. Updated with host and airdate information.