ABC News: Dancing Return Date Set, Pilot Orders Given

Shilo Adams February 1, 2011 1

There’s a lot of news coming out from ABC today, so let’s get to it.

According to TV Guide, the network has announced a return date for the 12th season of Dancing with the Stars. The cast may not be revealed until the end of this month, but expect the glitter, glitz, and glam to return March 21st for a loaded performance show. The results show will take place the following week on March 29th. The show hit ratings highs last season with the Bristol Palin controversy dominating headlines, so we’ll have to see if the show, which has been leaning heavier on tabloid mainstays and reality TV contestants, will match or surpass its recent successes. I won’t be surprised either way, though. The show is now clear of American Idol and with the right casting, I think it could be as big and buzzworthy as ever. However, springtime generally yields lower TV ratings and it’ll be hard to find the perfect storm of tabloid targets that last season was.

ABC has also given pilot orders to three dramas, bringing their total to six (there are also ten comedy pilots in contention). According to, Hallelujah, Identity, and Once Upon a Time were the recipients of the order, two of which come from people responsible for ABC’s last commercial renaissance. Hallelujah is from Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry and tells the story of an embattled small town that is saved by a stranger; Identity is about a police unit that fights identity-related crime; from three members of the Lost team (including co-creator Damon Lindelof), Once Upon a Time focuses on a woman who goes to a magical town in Maine where fairy tales may be closer to reality than you think.

I like the sound of all three pilots. ABC has shown in the past that they’re not afraid to take chances and to see new president Paul Lee continue that is quite encouraging. I’m a person who’s always going to be a proponent of pushing the boundaries on network television in terms of the type of projects that are taken on, so to see something as mysterious as Hallelujah or as high concept as Once Upon a Time just makes my little TV watching heart go aflutter. I also think Identity could be the successful procedural that the network has been chasing for the past couple of seasons, as the show sounds current enough in subject matter to bring in people not as interested in cop shows while traditional enough not to drive away big fans of the genre.

Who do you think will be cast on Dancing with the Stars? Do any of these pilots sound like something you’ll watch?

  • Håkon Skappel

    I actually liked the ITV original version of Identity that ran this summer, although it may have had more to do with the strength of the most prominent actors than the show itself. So I'm definitely going to tune in with an open mind to the ABC version. Hopefully they will do a good job with casting, which should give the show at least one good season as long as the writers aren't worse than mediocre. If they put some good writers together with good actors, this could be a long running show :)

    Don't have much thoughts about the other two pilots, but they sound intriguing enough that I will probably give both of them a few episodes to prove themselves.