‘Dance’ right move for Lythgoe

Exec producer sings reality TV's praises

Nigel Lythgoe is not your typical song-and-dance man. With partner Simon Fuller, Lythgoe has executive produced two Fox reality hits — “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance.”

Few shows in the history of television can match the impact of singing competish “Idol,” which is in production on its ninth season and airs in more than 100 countries.

“It has been a global phenomenon,” Lythgoe says. “And here (in the States) it was a game changer. It took Fox from fourth place to first (in the Nielsen ratings).”

“Dance” also was a natural for Lythgoe, who started his career as a dancer with the British group the Young Generation in the 1960s.

Lythgoe ankled “Idol” a year ago but continued his partnership with Fuller, forming a production shingle, Big Red 2 Entertainment. The company’s first project was NBC’s “Superstars of Dance.”

Reality, Lythgoe says, is a genre viewers will continue to crave.

“People originally thought this was going to be a small fad that would leave TV screens very quickly. But it’s not. It’s a part of our television diet.”

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