Nigel Lythgoe on “So You Think You Can Dance” – “We’re the little program that could”

Monica Gleberman | Jun 10, 2014

Nigel Lythgoe

Nigel Lythgoe, is an English television and film director and producer, television dance competition judge, best known for his appearance on “So You Think You Can Dance.” Lythgoe has also been the producer of shows “Pop Idol” and “American Idol.”

Lythgoe said there will be some changes to the competition this year.

” We’re going back to the individual winner,” Lythgoe said. “We’ve been quite lenient in the past and said, “Which is your favorite male, which is your favorite female,” but we’re going to make America choose.”

In addition, each week they are going to show just parts of performances by two dance crews and then people tweet on which one they like. Then depending on who the people like more, that is the one that will get a full live performance on stage. Lythgoe said it’s only for the first four shows.

“Out of each couple, one will be chosen. They’ll perform on the show, and the person with the highest tweets will perform on the finale.”

Besides just the changes on the show’s format, Lythgoe said the shows changes the lives of both the competitors and his choreographers. Many went on to do broadway shows, choreograph major competitions, and other projects.

“It just gives them much more commerciality because they can do so much more,” Lythgoe said. “So from that point of view, it’s always great to come down to New York and watch Broadway shows that the kids are in, whether it’s “After Midnight,” “Newsies,” or any of them as well.”

At this point, Lythgoe said he has gotten no indication from FOX yet regarding another season and how the viewership will play into a decision.

“No, FOX has never really said anything about what they hope to achieve with it,” Lythgoe said. “It’s desperate times almost for all of the broadcasters with the web coming so strongly through and the cable guys coming through. It’s tough times all around. So we are just going to have to do really well. Like most shows now, everything that you do is based on your figures of that season not on past history.”

Although he has no word on the future of the show, Lythgoe said it’s difficult because his show doesn’t have a niche like “Dancing with The Stars.” He said it’s only about dance which can make viewership lower and harder to achieve. He hopes that the seasons will continue and that his show has brought dance into the homes of people who might not have watched it ever before.

“We’re just deeply focused on dance, the different styles, the different genres,” Lythgoe said. “And we haven’t got anybody saying, “Pack your suitcase; you’re going home next week.” We’re saying, “Point your toes. Straighten your leg,” which of course doesn’t appeal to everybody. So we know what we are, and we’ve always said, “We’re the little program that could.”

Watch Nigel Lythgoe on “So You Think You Can Dance,” Wednesday’s at 8:00 p.m. on FOX.

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Photo: Fox
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