Pay TV company aims for mainstream market

ROME — Rupert Murdoch’s Sky Italia paybox is making an aggressive play for Italy’s core generalist TV audience by licensing Disney’s reality format “Your Mama Don’t Dance” for its new Sky Uno station.

Renamed “Vuoi Ballare Con Me?” (Do You Want to Dance With Me?), the local version of the Disney-ABC-ESPN format bowed as a pilot on Sky Uno last week and doubled the average ratings in its timeslot on the channel.

Under the agreement, the reality dance series with a twist will now run for 11 primetime episodes, hosted by popular Italo showgirl Lorella Cuccarini, formerly a fixture on Silvio Berlusconi’s top commercial terrestrial Mediaset web.

Sky Uno began beaming April 2 with the scripted entertainment “Fiorello Show,” hosted by Italo ratings champ Rosario Fiorello, whom Sky poached from pubcaster RAI.

The new Sky channel clearly intends to lure Italians with more of their traditional TV diet of variety, reality and gameshows, albeit attempting to raise the bar.

In “Your Mama Don’t Dance,” professional dancers partner with their own parents on the dance floor. “It’s a great format that puts together older and younger generations, which is what the recently launched Sky Uno aims to do,” said Sky Italia head of entertainment channels Stefano Orsucci in a statement.

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