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ABC’s Dirty Dancing has cast its Penny.
Nicole Scherzinger has been tapped to take on the role played by Cynthia Rhodes, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The three-hour TV movie is being written and exec produced by Jessica Sharzer (American Horror Story, The L Word) and, like the 1987 Patrick Swayze/Jennifer Grey starrer, revolves around Baby (Abigail Breslin), an innocent young woman who vacations with her affluent parents at an early-1960s Catskill Mountains resort and gets swept off her feet by Johnny (Colt Prattes), a handsome, working-class dance instructor. Penny, for those who don’t recall, is Johnny’s dance partner and part of the entertainment staff at the resort. She and Johnny enlist Baby’s help and teach her to dance. Debra Messing co-stars as Marjorie Houseman, Baby’s mother.
The movie is produced by Lionsgate TV and Allison Shearmur Productions (The Hunger Games), with Eleanor Bergstein — who penned the screenplay for the original movie — on board as an executive producer. Grammy nominee Adam Anders and Peer Astrom (Glee) will tackle music for ABC’s rendition. Anders and Judy Cairo (Crazy Heart) will produce. Wayne Blair (The Sapphires) will direct. Tony winner Andy Blankenbuehler (Hamilton, Bring It On) will be responsible for choreography. Stephen Altman (Gosford Park) is set as producing designer.
The role brings Scherzinger back to ABC after she won season 10 of the network’s Dancing With the Stars. The former Pussycat Doll is in talks to reprise her Olivier-nominated role as Grizabella in the Broadway revival of Cats. She’s repped by CAA and Myman Greenspan.
A premeire date for Dirty Dancing has not yet been determined.
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