As an aspiring ballerina, Amy Sherman-Palladino spent the first 20 years of her life with her hair tucked into a tidy bun. She has joked that if television writing hadn’t come along, she might have ended up playing Rumpelteazer in a bus and truck tour of “Cats.”
As creator of the beloved drama “Gilmore Girls,” Sherman-Palladino modeled a town gathering spot, Miss Patty’s Dance Studio, on the place she spent countless hours as a kid working on pirouettes and plies.
Now she’s leaping fully into the dance world with “Bunheads,” an ABC Family series starring Tony-winner Sutton Foster in which tutus and toe shoes are as much in the spotlight as her signature strong female characters and quip-filled dialogue.
But the dramedy, launching June 11, won’t be going solo this summer. It’s one of a number of upcoming TV shows that center on classical dance, so there are plenty more bunheads (and their male counterparts) on the horizon.
The CW, looking for a reality hit, is tonight premiering “Breaking Pointe,” a peek behind the scenes of Salt Lake City’s celebrated Ballet West. Arts cable channel Ovation plans “A Chance to Dance” in August from dance impresario Nigel Lythgoe and his son, Simon. The docuseries follows a couple of former Royal Ballet dancers, dubbed the BalletBoyz, as they build an American dance company.
The shows join Australian import “Dance Academy,” a ballet drama airing since February on Nickelodeon, and several projects in development, including Oxygen’s “All the Right Moves,” which will center on “So You Think You Can Dance” choreographer Travis Wall’s attempt to start a new dance troupe.
The sudden interest in classical dance doesn’t surprise many industry watchers, since the dial is already loaded with celebrity dancing shows, urban-flavored competitions and talent searches.