MTV Pulls the Rug Out From Under “America’s Best Dance Crew”

MTV has pulled the rug out from under America’s Best Dance Crew (ABC).

On Monday, the network cancelled the Randy Jackson-produced reality competition show, which allowed viewers to vote for their favorite hip-hop dance troupes from around the country. The series — which featured host Mario Lopez and Shane Sparks, Lil Mama and JC Chasez among its judges — debuted to strong numbers in 2008.

A statement from MTV read:

“We are grateful to Randy Jackson and [production studio] Warner Horizon for having brought our audience seven amazing seasons of dance… and look forward to more successful and dynamic entertaining collaborations in the future.”

“I have always wanted to do something with MTV,” Randy said in November 2007 interview detailing his then-new venture. “MTV has the biggest voice, especially as it relates to music, dance and entertainment. I’m happy to be joining with them on this show — it’s the hottest show, finding the best dance crews in America. The show is going to be blazing hot ’cause that’s the way the Dawg always does it — hot!!”

But it wasn’t without controversy. Early in the show’s run, Sparks was arrested and convicted of having a sexual relationship with teenage dance student a decade earlier. In 2009, Jackson and MTV were named in a lawsuit over allegations that the concept for ABC was stolen from a Los Angeles dance instructor. Dwight McGhee filed papers in Los Angeles County Superior Court suing Randy and MTV for allegedly copying his idea.

The choreographer claimed he pitched the format of a dancing show, titled International Breakerz League, to the network in 2004. According to McGhee, the network snubbed him only to use his idea four years later without his involvement.

Despite averaging 2.7 million viewers a week in its heyday, ABC’s viewership took a nosedive in recent seasons. The seventh season finale, broadcast in June, attracted just over a million viewers.

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