'Dancing with the Stars' to Air
Courtesy of BBC Worldwide

Among the dancers will be former FARC guerrilla Ana Pacheco and former FARC hostage Jhon Frank Pinchao

LONDON — “Dancing with the Stars,” one of the world’s most successful TV franchises, is to air live daily in primetime in Colombia. The celebrity dancers include Natalia Paris, Colombia’s best-known international model, actresses Flora Martinez and Endry Cardeño, Ana Pacheco, a former member of the FARC guerrilla group, and Jhon Frank Pinchao, one of FARC’s former hostages.

RCN Colombia, which has licensed the show from BBC Worldwide, will air it on weeknights from Tuesday. Fox Telecolombia is producing the show, which is the first daily primetime version of the program in Latin America. The first season of the show, which is titled locally “Bailando con las Estrellas,” will feature 55 one-hour episodes.

The show, which will air at 8 p.m., is to be hosted by Patrick Delmas and Taliana Vargas, and will feature 15 couples, each made up of a celebrity and a professional dancer. Other local celebrities appearing in the first season will include singers Mike Bahia and Galy Galiano, Daniela Ospina, Real Madrid soccer player James Rodriguez’s wife, Orlando Duque, the gold medalist high diver, and Hernán Zajar, a well-known fashion designer. Pinchao was one of 60 policemen who were taken as hostages by FARC — also known as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia; he managed to escape, and become a hero in his country.

The judging panel will be comprised of dancer and choreographer Beto Pérez, the creator of Zumba; classical dancer Fernando Montaño of the Royal Ballet; and Estonia’s Nina Shablinskaja, world ballroom dancing champion for 10 consecutive years. In addition to the judges’ opinions, the audience will be able to vote for its favorite couples via the show’s website, www.canalrcn.com. The results of the audience’s votes will be averaged with the judges’ scores to determine the points for each couple.

“Few dance formats have attained the audience levels or popularity that have made ‘Dancing with the Stars’ a classic in this genre at the global level,” said Anna Gordon, executive VP and managing director, BBC Worldwide Latin America/U.S. Hispanic. “We are confident that RCN Colombia’s ‘Bailando con las Estrellas’ will gain the series new fans in this rapidly growing market.”

The “Dancing with the Stars” format is based the British show “Strictly Come Dancing,” which first aired in 2004. BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the U.K. broadcaster, has sold the format to more than 50 countries. The U.S. version of the show, which airs on ABC, is in its 20th season, and has led its two-hour time-slot, beating NBC’s “The Voice” by 2.2 million viewers, CBS’ comedy block by 5.5 million viewers and Fox’s dramas (“Gotham”/”The Following”) by 9.8 million viewers.

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