Julianne Hough must be drinking some of that producer Kool-Aid that her boyfriend Ryan Seacrest seems tethered to as the Safe Haven star just teamed with Starz (and her brother) to create a new show. The series being developed is a competitive dancing drama called Blackpool set in the competitive world of international ballroom dancing. Both Houghs are said to be serving as choreographers on the program.
This is a bit of a departure for the premium network who has struck out swinging with its scripted offerings in the past. Perhaps skewing a longform effort towards the female demographic could help bolster subscribers to what many consider the weakest of the ‘pay extra’ channels. That definitely makes a lot of sense seeing how important cross-demo appeal has been to rival HBO’s success in the past.
Beverly Hills, Calif. – February 26, 2013 – Starz announced today that the company has partnered with actor, dancer and singer Julianne Hough (Safe Haven, Rock of Ages and Footloose), and dance champion and actor Derek Hough (“Dancing with the Stars”) to develop for STARZ “Blackpool,” a new original series set in the world of international competitive ballroom dancing. The pair will executive produce and serve as head choreographers for the series, drawing on years of first-hand experience as competitors and world dance champions. The series revolves around the prestigious annual ballroom competition in Blackpool, England and will explore the dancer’s obsession with perfection and the darker side of the glamorous world of ballroom dance, which has captured the fascination of audiences around the world.
“The world of ballroom dance has captivated millions of people around the world, and there are no more recognizable superstars in this arena than Julianne and Derek,” says Carmi Zlotnik, Managing Director of Starz. “Their experiences growing up in this highly competitive world are riveting and also shocking. There is much more to uncover than what we see on the dance floor.”
Julianne Hough says, “Derek and I are thrilled to be working with Starz. We feel that their passion and the style, and quality of their programming provide the perfect environment to capture the true essence of this world that Derek and I know so well and means so much to us.”
“I cannot wait to give audiences a fictionalized view of the world that I experienced growing up,” says Derek Hough. “Viewers are going to see a twisted, sexy, funny, dark and passionate side of the drama and politics in the world of ballroom dance that delves deeper than spray tans and sequins.”
Julianne Hough is known to audiences around the world for her success in film, television and music. She was a two-time professional champion on ABC’s top-rated “Dancing with the Stars,” and made her feature film debut inBurlesque before making a seamless transition to an award-winning recording artist.
She starred in Footloose and the all-star Rock of Ages and currently stars opposite Josh Duhamel in Nicholas Sparks’ Safe Haven, directed by Lasse Hallstrom. She will be seen next in Diablo Cody’s directorial debut,Paradise, opposite Russell Brand and Octavia Spencer and recently launched her first shoe line, Julianne Hough for Sole Society. She is repped by CAA and Azoff, Geary, Paul, Smith Management.
Derek Hough, the only three-time champion in franchise history of the hit ABC show “Dancing with the Stars,” started dancing in his hometown of Salt Lake City, UT, at age 11. A multi-talented entertainer and three-time Emmy® nominee, Hough recently took a season off from “Dancing with the Stars” to film his first feature film starring role for director Duane Adler and producer Robert Cort in Cobu 3D: New York Nights acting opposite Korean pop sensation BoA. Hough performed in London’s West End where he starred as the male lead in the critically acclaimed stage version of Footloose, was one of the featured dancers on the “Dancing with the Stars” tour and a choreographer on the BBC (UK) hit show, “Dance X.” He is represented by UTA and The Collective.