Lifetime Orders 'Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition'
"Dance Moms’" Abby Lee Miller, Pussycat Dolls founder Robin Antin and choreographer Richard Jackson will serve as judges for the child dancers when the series launches this fall.
Lifetime is expanding its footprint in the dance space.
The femme-skewing cable network, which has found success with its Dance Moms franchise, has picked up Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition, headlined by Dance Moms’ Abby Lee Miller.
The reality effort will feature a dozen promising girl and boy dancers -- ages 6 through 13 -- competing for a $100,000 cash prize and a scholarship to the Young Dancer Program at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York. The series’ 10-episode first season will premiere this fall.
Joining Miller at the judges’ table will be Robin Antin, founder of the Pussycat Dolls, and dancer and celebrity choreographer Richard Jackson (Lady Gaga’s "Marry the Night"). Kevin Manno of MTV’s short-lived The Seven will serve as the show's host.
The 12 dancers will learn new routines and compete before the judges as well as a live audience at the Los Angeles Theatre. Throughout the process, the competitors will be coached by their often highly competitive mothers, who will be making decisions regarding training, music, costumes and choreography.
Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition is being produced by Dance Moms' Collins Avenue, with Jeff Collins (Dance Moms, Fly Girls), Michael Hammond (Dance Moms, Hell’s Kitchen), Mike Aho (Dance Moms, The Bachelorette) and Sandi Johnson (The Bachelor, Under Cover Boss) attached as executive producers, along with Lifetime’s EPs Rob Sharenow, Gena McCarthy and Kimberly Chessler. Bryan Stinson (Dance Moms, High Society) and Adam Vetri (The Devil’s Ride, The Amazing Race) will co-executive produce the project.
Though this project is not being billed as another Dance Moms spinoff, it comes as the latter continues to lure viewers to the recently rebranded network. As of July 30, the young-skewing dance series was up 72 percent with the adults in the 18-49 demographic and 73 percent among females in that demo, compared to a year earlier.
Email: Lacey.Rose@THR.com; Twitter: @LaceyVRose