- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Invitation to ‘Dance’

Fox is giving the summer competition series “So You Think You Can Dance” a fifth-season pickup, Broadcastingcable.com reports.

The show, set to conclude its fourth run later this week, has consistently been among the top five programs in the 18-to-49 and 18-to-34 demographic groups this summer.

“So You Think You Can Dance” is from Nigel Lythgoe and Simon Fuller of 19 Entertainment, producers of Fox’s springtime juggernaut “American Idol.”

Mr. Lythgoe also serves as a judge on the program.

“Dance” was nominated recently for four prime-time Emmys.

The show is produced by 19 Entertainment and Dick Clark Productions.

WE’s ‘Perfect’ world

WE TV is taking on the controversial world of children’s beauty pageants in a new documentary reality series.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the network has ordered six one-hour episodes of “Little Miss Perfect” from NorthSouth Productions.

The show follows Florida families entering their 5- to 11-year-old daughters in a beauty competition.

“There’s a real fascination with these beauty pageants,” says Steve Cheskin, WE’s senior vice president of programming. “In parts of the South, it’s taken very seriously, and in other parts of the country, they’re looked at with near-disbelief.”

With a title that riffs on the Oscar-winning theatrical hit “Little Miss Sunshine,” producers say the show will have a nonjudgmental stance.

“We’re taking an approach that’s completely neutral,” says Charlie DeBevoise, NorthSouth co-owner and “Perfect” executive producer. “I’m inspired by Sundance’s ‘Nimrod Nation’; I loved the way it showed its subject in a respectful and objective way and let the audience decide how to feel about it.”

WE’s reality shows tend to fit into three styles: bridal, transformational and documentary, with “Perfect” an entry in the last category. The show is expected to air early next year.

HBO adds 2 more

HBO has added two more pilots, including one from “Entourage” producers Mark Wahlberg and Stephen Levinson, to an already hefty roster.

The duo will serve as executive producers for “How to Make It in America,” a comedy about three young New Yorkers hustling to achieve the American dream. Ian Edelman is writing the pilot, says Zap2it.com, citing a story in the Hollywood Reporter.

Additionally, the cable giant has optioned Liza Palmer’s novel “Conversations With the Fat Girl” for series development.

The novel centers on a young plus-size woman named Maggie whose newly thin (thanks to gastric bypass surgery) friend Olivia is getting married and drifting away from her. After a confrontation, Maggie sets about improving her own life, pursuing a better job and breaking the ice with a longtime crush.

“How to Make It,” meanwhile, will focus on the downtown scene in New York. Rob Weiss, another “Entourage” executive producer attached to the project, tells THR that the show is “a fun ride” that will look at “the cross section of people [living downtown] and how they relate to the relevant subcultures in NYC.”

Both shows join a pilot roster that includes David Simon’s (“The Wire”) New Orleans drama “Treme,” the Atlantic City-set “Boardwalk Empire” (another Wahlberg-Levinson project) and the comedies “Hung” and “Bored to Death.”

On tap tonight

Roy Orbison & Friends: A Black and White Night ( 9:30 p.m., WETA-Channel 26) — The late Grammy-winning singer-songwriter performs with Jackson Browne, Elvis Costello, K.D. Lang, Bonnie Raitt, Steven Soles, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Waits, Jennifer Warnes, J.D. Souther, and T-Bone Burnett in this 1987 concert, taped a year before his death.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from staff, Web and wire reports

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