×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Nigel Lythgoe, Triller Fight Club Team for Competition Series ‘So You Think You Can Fight’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Nigel Lythgoe
Chelsea Lauren/VAR

TV super-producer Nigel Lythgoe is partnering with Triller Fight Club on a new unscripted competition series called “So You Think You Can Fight,” Variety has learned exclusively.

“So You Think You Can Fight” will follow in a similar format to “So You Think You Can Dance.” The weekly, hour-long series will pair a celebrity action star with a pro fighter, each who will select an amateur boxer through a global talent search and competition, along with audience voting and participation. The selected contestants will each go through rigorous mental and physical training, squaring off against each other with one winner for each category — lightweight, heavyweight and MMA. Each winner will go on to a pro bout on a Triller Fight Club main event that will launch their pro boxing career.

The show is expected to launch later this year on Triller’s new live streaming platform Triller Verzuz TV, which was formed through TrillerNet’s recent acquisitions of Swizz Beatz and Timbaland’s live-streaming channel Verzuz and global live-event streaming platform FITE (FITE.tv).

As part of the partnership, Lythgoe will assume the role of creative partner, visionary, and executive producer of Triller Fight Club, bringing his skills as a television producer to the company’s events.

“Triller has built something extraordinary, and they truly have their finger on the pulse of where live event entertainment is headed,” Lythgoe said. “As a lifelong fan of music and boxing, I am thrilled to be getting into the ring with Ryan, Snoop and the whole Triller team to join their disruptive and innovative journey. Everyone is fighting for something in this world, and I’m excited to tell the many fascinating stories behind the raised gloves.”

Lythgoe is known for co-creating, executive producing and serving as head judge on Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance,” which launched in 2005. He also produced “Pop Idol” in the UK and its U.S. edition, “American Idol,” which helped change the face of American reality television. He began his career as a dancer and later as a choreographer, eventually choreographing over 500 TV shows. He segued into producing television as head of entertainment and comedy at London Weekend Television, where he commissioned and produced TV shows including “Gladiators” — produced as “American Gladiators” in the US– and
“Blind Date.”

“Nigel Lythgoe is a giant among giants, and his new role at Triller is a total game changer for us,” said Ryan Kavanaugh, co-owner of Triller Fight Club parent company TrillerNet. “Nigel has changed the face of competition-based television around the world, and there is no one better to help us bring the excitement of Triller Fight Club to our global audiences, both through our exciting new streaming series and by adding his visionary storytelling abilities to our Fight Club events. We could not be more excited to welcome Nigel to the Triller team.”

Lythgoe is already at work on the Triller Fight Club’s upcoming June 19 event at Miami’s loanDepot park, which will be themed “The Greatest Showman” in recognition of boxing’s current showman, undefeated Teófimo López, who is putting his five championship belts on the line in the headline fight against the undefeated George Kambosos Jr. for the undisputed lightweight champion of the world. The June 19 event will make history by having men’s and women’s undisputed title fights on the same card for the first time ever, with Franchon Crews-Dezurn taking on Elin Cederroos in a four-belt title bout on the main card.

“Boxing and dancing share the same movements and the same rhythm, and who better to take Fight Club to the next level that the person who brought the world ‘American Idol’ and ‘So You Think You Can Dance,’ the iconic talent discovery platforms where music, competition, movement and showmanship all count towards the victory, which in our case is hopefully by a knockout,” said Triller Fight Club partner Snoop Dogg.

The June 19 event will be followed by Triller Fight Club’s August event, in legendary boxer Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield, the only person ever to win the World Heavyweight Title four times, will return to the ring to fight Kevin McBride in a six-round fight. Then in September, Triller Fight Club hosts the highly anticipated comeback of Oscar De La Hoya in a match-up to be announced this summer.

Triller Fight Club most recently put on the highly-viewed fight between Ben Askren and Jake Paul, which also featured performances by music superstars Justin Bieber, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, The Black Keys, Doja Cat, Saweetie, Diplo, and Major Lazer, with commentators including “SNL”’s Pete Davidson and internet stars Charli and Dixie D’Amelio.

Prior to that, Triller Fight Club launched with the Mike Tyson vs. Roy Jones Jr. fight in November 2020, which broke PPV records when the two legends fought to a draw in the eight round exhibition.