The eight-part program (pictured) – produced by Lythgoe, Izo and INE/Trium Entertainment – returned to the digital network Sept. 26 as a rebooted long-form series with episodes doubling in length to 44 minutes.
Part of expanding this season’s episodes, Lythgoe explained via email to realscreen, came from a desire to feature more of each choreographer’s backstory, while showcasing the passion each one pours into their craft.
“Luckily we had a diverse cast with compelling backgrounds so we had a lot of material to work with,” he continued. “A great, dynamic cast is key no matter if you have five minutes, 22 minutes or 44 minutes.”
Each episode of the revamped digital format sees 10 choreographers compete against one another in a series of themed challenges as they vie for the US$25,000 cash prize.
While comparable to series broadcasting across network television, the digital format is produced at a fraction of the cost. In addition, the series takes on warmer cues by having talent speak straight into the camera in order to directly engage the audience – skipping the traditional interview set up that would see them looking off to the side.
“We took the best of both ‘new media’ and ‘traditional’ to create the show,” the So You Think You Can Dance creator said. “So, from a technical side, we use quick transitions to keep the pace of the show moving. We like to rely less on wide shots and fill the frame as much as possible, since the show will be seen on both mobile and desktop now, and keep the audience engaged in every moment.”
Returning to the panel of celebrity judges are head judge and series mentor Brian Friedman; Emmy Award-winning choreographers Napoleon and Tabitha Dumo; Emmy-winner Tessandra Chavez; Tyce Diorio; Dave Scott; Charm Ladonna; and digital influencers Tricia Miranda and Ian Eastwood. UK presenter Amy Willerton joins the cast this season as series host.
Originally founded as DanceOn, the firm revealed at a NewFronts event in May that it had launched musically-inclined parent company Izo to oversee the MCN brand going forward.
A programming partner for go90, Izo is scheduled to produce 25 original series for the platform through 2017. Additional series returning later this year include kids choreography competition series Dance-Off Juniors.