MTV hip-hops to 'Crew' call


MTV has given the green light to a dance competition reality series from "American Idol" judge Randy Jackson and the creators of the World Hip-Hop Dance Championships, Howard and Karen Schwartz.

Tentatively titled "Randy Jackson Presents America's Best Dance Crew," the show, slated to premiere early next year, will feature hip-hop dance groups from around the country competing for a cash prize and a touring contract.

After auditions -- now under way -- and early eliminations, the selected crews will face off in live weekly performance shows. One group will be eliminated each week by viewers who will vote via text message, online and phone.

The project originally was set up at NBC under the title "World Moves" and was announced as a midseason series at the network's upfront presentation in May. After the summer regime change that saw Ben Silverman take the programming reins at NBC, the network ended up passing on the dance show, which then was taken to MTV.

"I have always wanted to do something with MTV," said Jackson, who is not expected to appear on camera. "MTV has the biggest voice, especially as it relates to music, dance and entertainment.

There have been several reality dance competition series, most notably ABC's hit "Dancing With the Stars" and Fox's solid summer performer "So You Think You Can Dance," but "Crew" is the first such series to feature groups rather than individual dancers.

"Together with Randy Jackson, we are setting the stage for dance teams nationwide to finally show their stuff," said Tony DiSanto, head of series development at MTV. "Dynamic, energetic and physical, we are giving them the chance to push the envelope of choreography, challenge themselves and their competitors, and truly showcase to the world the power, skill and beauty of group dance."

The Warner Horizon TV-produced "Crew" is executive produced by Jackson, Rob Lee, Howard Schwartz, Karen Schwartz, Harriet Sternberg and Joel Gallen.