Harvey Weinstein sat down for a Q&A at MIPCOM today, making his first official appearance at the TV market. The Weinstein Company co-chairman outlined plans for new annual live TV event show Michael Flatley’s World Dance Awards. As I reported earlier today, Flatley was indeed the surprise guest during Weinstein’s session, but he didn’t do any tap steps.
Weinstein said the show would be performance-oriented and that he’d call on his stable of celebrity pals from around the world to line the red carpet. “If this show has a cousin, it’s the Grammys,” he said. Making his pitch to buyers, Weinstein added, “We want to make it an event so it’s a game-changer for all the networks that buy the show and a ratings blockbuster that the people who get in early will have year after year.” The show does not yet have a network, but Weinstein is looking to find a hole in the awards calendar where it can stand on its own. “Maybe in April or May before Cannes,” he said. Flatley called the show a “dream come true” and commented, “We owe this to the millions and millions of kids around the world that dance… They give their everything and I can’t understand why there’s no awards.” About 8-10 prizes will be handed out including for best dance in a film, on TV and in video, as well as a best dancer in the world prize. Flatley said he would choreograph the opening ceremony.
Weinstein also talked about his company’s acceleration into TV: “The movie business is shrinking to some degree and we have to look for new horizons.” Expanding on the Ryan Seacrest/Bo Dietl private investigator procedural TWC has coming up for FX, Weinstein likened the show to Entourage and said the start of each episode would take place at famous Harlem eatery Rao’s. A haunt for celebs, politicians and some notorious Mafiosos, Weinstein said real people would be in each opening segment, maybe even Mayor Bloomberg, while the lead character explains his latest case.
On the big-budget Marco Polo, the historical adventure drama that will air on Starz in 2014, Weinstein added there would be different cuts. There will be a “sexy version and a G-rated version to appeal to all tastes.”