ABC has announced The Real Housewives of New York City and Bethenny's Getting Married? star Bethenny Frankel, Olympic gold-medal skier Jonny Moseley, All My Children star Rebecca Budig, Disney Channel star Brandon Mychal Smith, film actress Sean Young, and rocker Vince Neil will compete on the new Dancing with the Stars-like celebrity competition the network will premiere on November 22.
Similar to Dancing with the Stars, Skating with the Stars will pair a celebrity and world-class ice skater who will perform live and receive scores from a panel of expert judges. Like Dancing with the Stars, the judges' scores will then be combined with home viewer votes and one couple will be eliminated each week during the show's six-episode run.
Skating with the Stars -- which will premiere immediately after Dancing with the Stars' final eleventh-season performance show -- will be produced by Dancing with the Stars' BBC Worldwide production company, which previously produced the format in the U.K. as a Christmas special in 2004.
Although Frankel is the cast's only current reality star, Budig and Neil also have reality ties.
Budig is the ex-wife of former The Bachelor star Bob Guiney, whom she met while hosting ABC Family rebroadcasts of the ABC reality dating show. Neil was part of original season of The Surreal Life which aired on The WB network in 2003.
While Skating with the Stars represents ABC's first attempt at an ice skating version of its top-rated ballroom dancing competition, it isn't the first American network attempt.
In January 2006 -- four months after Dancing with the Stars' initial six-episode 2005 season emerged as a surprise summer hit -- Fox debutedSkating with Celebrities, a Dancing knock-off which featured celebrities skating with professional partners.
Actress Kristy Swanson and partner Lloyd Eisler won the seven-episode competition, which was taped in advance of broadcast and did not feature home viewer voting.
Although its U.K. Dancing on Ice edition has continued to air annually overseas, Fox did not renew Skating with Celebrities. Instead, the Fox show ended up being best remembered for its off-the-ice drama when Eisler's then-pregnant wife Marcia O'Brien revealed he had gotten romantically involved with Swanson during the show and blamed the affair for breaking up their marriage.
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