Your Mama Don't Dance
Empty9 p.m. Fridays, Feb. 29
Conceptually, the series is as original as "Sunrise, Sunset" at weddings. Still, there are some genuinely juicy and poignant moments in "Your Mama Don't Dance" that make it stand out from other elimination dance contest shows.
Technically, the title should be "Your Mama and Your Daddy Don't Dance But They Do Their Best." In this show, 10 young professional dancers (five men and five women) are, to their surprise, paired with their parent of the opposite gender. They spend a week rehearsing a dance number. Then they present it before an audience and three judges, who grade them on a scale of 1 to 100. Viewers vote on which of the two lowest-scoring couples remains in the show.
The premiere on Friday featured the women dancing with their dads. Exec producers Bob Bain, Linda Lea and David Noll opted for hanky-grabbing back stories, not fleet-footed fathers. As a result, most numbers involved daughters with blinding footwork distracting from dads with two left feet. Sexy costumes notwithstanding, the predominant emotion was sweet pride, not unlike the gooey sentimentalism on which "The Amazing Race" thrives when a parent and a child are matched.
Ian Ziering is fine as host -- neither bland nor over the top. The judges are Ben Vereen, Vitamin C and Chris Judd, the latter introduced with no reference to his dance experience with ex, Jennifer Lopez. The show, a Bob Bain Prod. with City Lights Television in association with Lifetime Television, tapes the day before broadcast.