It’s been a while since the folks overseeing ABC and its sister network, ABC Family, got to indulge one of their favorite pastimes: twisting the knife for fans of Amy Sherman-Palladino’s long-lamented ballet dramedy Bunheads. But now, with the news that ABC has fought for and acquired the rights to a new show based on the seriocomic adventures behind the scene of a tutu-laden dance troupe, it seems like that hour has come around again.
After what Deadline reports as a fierce bidding war, ABC has picked up the rights to British reality series Big Ballet, with an eye toward transforming the program into a scripted tale. The original program, which aired last year on Channel 4, invited larger-than-average amateur dancers to mount a performance of Swan Lake, assisted by professional choreographers and ballerinas. ABC (and executive producers Liz Heldens and Sue Naegle) will presumably take that premise and build a narrative around it, slapping on some fast-paced banter, intergenerational friendship and strife, and maybe a little Alan Ruck, just to make sure Bunheads fans get the picture.
Big Ballet isn’t the only series ABC put into development yesterday; the network also gave the go-ahead to The Jury, an anthology series that follows a different court case (and its attendant jurors, rural or otherwise) every season. We’re not sure yet which demographic ABC’s specifically taunting with this one, although it’s possible that they’re just waving a red flag at John Grisham fans, hoping to see if they’ll charge.