'Superstars of Dance' producer Nigel Lythgoe: I miss 'American Idol'
By John Bracchitta, 01/12/2009
Former American Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe has moved on to NBC's new Superstars of Dance reality competition as well as several other projects, but he still admits to reminiscing fondly about his time on the Fox reality juggernaut.
"I miss Idol," Lythgoe told tvguide.com in an interview published Monday. "At the same time, I've been able to go to South Africa [and] Australia [to work on So You Think You Can Dance editions] and now create [Superstars of Dance]. So I've found good use for my time."
Lythgoe also admitted that Superstars of Dance, which he co-created and produces with Idol creator Simon Fuller, had been inspired by Fox's So You Think You Can Dance summer series, which the duo also created and produce.
"[Superstars of Dance] was, in truth, So You Think You Can Dance," Lythgoe told tvguide.com. "We did a Bollywood routine, and everyone liked [it]. And then on the finale, we had [contestants] Joshua [Allen] and Twitch [Boss], and people said 'I really like that Russian routine.' We had the option to create another dance show, and I didn't want to make another competition of wannabes. Otherwise, it's just a pale imitation of Dancing with the Stars or So You Think You Can Dance, which so many people have attempted in the last year."
"With So You Think You Can Dance there's a group of kids who want to be dancers. With Dancing with the Stars, that's a group of celebrities who want to dance," he added. "[With Superstars of Dance], these are people who dance."
Lythgoe also said that he feels that critics who think there isn't enough room on network television for another dance competition are only focusing on the genre instead of each show's distinctiveness.
"That's like asking me, 'Just because Grey's Anatomy is in a hospital, is there room for another hospital show?' Well, yeah, ER is still brilliant. It depends on what the show is. The genre is dance; it's well-loved at the moment. It's in, shall we say. And it's happening all over the world," he told tvguide.com.
And what does Lythgoe think of a potential reunion with American Idol, which will premiere its first Lythgoe-less season on Tuesday?
"Who knows?" Lythgoe teased. "At this moment in time, I'm moving on, but Idol's going to be around for a long time. It's a great show.... Never say never. James Bond said that once, and he came back."