This article was in the CityPaper a few weeks ago, but it's just now that I'm getting around to pointing out a neat thing in it. Thanks, procrastination!
Back in the 1980s "Dancin' On Air" was a hit show on Channel 17 (WPHL), airing live every weekday afternoon. I never really got to watch it much because I was at work, but now and then I got to see it. It spun off a national broadcast as well, "Dance Party USA."
Think of it as an updated "American Bandstand," with kids dancing to the latest music and occasional appearances by performers lip-syncing their hits (one of those was Madonna, before she became a star -- that CityPaper article tells an amusing Madonna story, by the way). One of those kids was Kelly Ripa. I think she's done a thing or two in the entertainment industry...anyway, in the last year, capitalizing on the 30th anniversary of the show's debut, WPHL aired a few "Dancin'" specials, rebroadcasting old episodes as well as clip shows packaged with interviews with some of those kids (but not Kelly Ripa), now well into their 40s at the least.
Those specials got surprisingly strong ratings, so the station and the show's producers are bringing it back, with a few twists. It's no longer going to be broadcast live, nor will it be shown every weekday. Instead, it will air on Saturday mornings beginning March 31. The article states they'll mix in music from the show's era with today's hits. And producer Mike Nise mentioned out one other key difference:
"Audiences are more tolerant than ever, and if there are gay couples, we'll show that, too."
Well done, "Dancin' On Air."