'Bandstand' to twirl new show with 'Idol'

MUMBAI: While Indian broadcasters are still figuring out the ways of introducing the 'Idol' phenomenon in India, the US will witness the birth, in the summer of 2005, of the amalgamation of two of the most successful music formats in the country.

19 Entertainment, Simon Fuller's company that brought American Idol to US network television, has tied up with Dick Clark Productions to to relaunch American Bandstand, the longest running network television show in history. American Bandstand, which ran on ABC TV for a record 30 years till 1987, had artistes performing live or live-to-track, inspiring a stage full of young male and female dancers, gyrating to rhythm. The American Bandstand format has often been imitated, leaving a lasting impact on fashion and establishing ummatched trends.

The prominence of American Bandstand as a social and cultural phenomenon was deeper, with the name and image finding their way into popular song lyrics, television shows, board games and record collections, and was probably the original reality show, with occasional dance contests, with prizes gradually increasing in value from records to juke boxes to cars.American Idol, which wraps its third season this week with a showdown between Fantasia Barrino and Diana DeGarmo, has been a hit for Fox and has produced recording stars like Clay Aiken and Ruben Studdard.

On the new American Bandstand, performances by pop stars and the old show's "rate-a-record" segments will remain in the mix, says Fuller. Clark will be a producer but won't return as on-air steward of the new Bandstand, which is likely to appear on a network and definitely in prime-time.

A search for a replacement host is underway. Although the show will be largely Los Angeles-based it will break away to other cities, such as Miami, to sample the scenes there.

Fuller and Clark will serve as executive producers through Fuller's 19 Entertainment and Clark's production company, joined by Allen Shapiro of Mosaic Media Group, the controlling shareholder in Clark's firm.

"American Idol is one of the very few music formats to have been successful on network television in the US for many years. American Bandstand was the first and longest running," says Fuller. "Dick Clark is the father of American music television, and the prospect of the two of us working together to bring American Bandstand back to all its former glory, whilst giving it a 21st century twist, is very exciting indeed."

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