Get ready for “Thin Ice,” a hot new reality skating show, set to hit the airwaves next March.
Produced by O’Neil Entertainment for ABC Television, the show will be hosted by Kurt Browning and Elisabeth Hasselbeck, co-host of “The View.” Lea Ann Miller will serve as artistic director.
Canada’s Shae-Lynn Bourne, the 2003 World ice dance champion and Shizuka Arakawa from Japan, the 2006 and reigning Olympic champion, are confirmed entries for the event.
Kristi Yamaguchi and Dick Button have signed on as judges with a third to be announced at a later date. The judging criterion is simple – entertain us!
The format will feature six couples that will perform together for the first time. Each will present a series of alternating solos within each program. “We want to bring together the greatest skaters in the world and we decided to draw from all four disciplines to make it interesting and exciting,” said producer, Terrence O’Neil. “No current pairs and dance teams will perform together.”
Teams will also not attempt the kind of synchronicity that pairs and dance couples typically do. For instance, Shae-Lynn has such a distinctive solo style – she will not recreate what she and Victor Kraatz did,” O’Neil explained. “Choreography will be the wild card. Who will be able to blend it into a compatible mix?”
Since the format of the show does not meet International Skating Union rules, only professional skaters will be invited. There are no rules about the selection of music or the use of props.
Both competition events will take place in the Premier Ballroom at the MGM Grand Hotel at Foxwoods in Mashantucket, Conn., and will air live in the U.S. and Canada on Friday, March 19 at 8 p.m. (EST) on the ABC network. The show will also be broadcast around the world.
Voting will be split - 50% by the judging panel and 50% by viewer vote. For the first time in American reality television history, viewers from all corners of the globe will be able to vote for their favorites. “We are encouraging our international television partners to broadcast the shows live so that between Friday and Sunday, as many international viewers as possible will be able to vote,” O’Neil said.
The finale is scheduled for Sunday, March 21 at 7 p.m. All six couples will perform a second original program but, given the time constraints, only those in attendance at the show will be able to vote. Calculation of votes will take place during the final commercial break and the winner will be announced at the end of the show.
There is seating for 3,000 people at the Premier Ballroom. Tickets are scheduled to go on sale this week. As an added bonus, dress rehearsals will be open to the public. “With such limited seating, we anticipate the ballroom will be bustling with energy, both during the dress rehearsals and on-air shows,” O’Neil said.
The full roster of skaters and further details will be announced shortly.
IFS will be bringing you all of the exclusive backstage fun from "Thin Ice."