1 9 7 9 – 1 9 8 7 (USA)
Created by entertainment veteran Merv Griffin, Dance Fever was a televised dance competition that capitalised on the disco craze that swept the US in the late 1970s following the phenomenal success of Saturday Night Fever (1977).
Griffin’s production company sponsored dance contests across America with the winners of those regional competitions flown all-expenses-paid to Hollywood to appear on the television show and compete in front of celebrity judges for prizes (originally including two 1979 Trans Am’s valued at $31,000!).
The series ran in syndication from 1979 to 1987 and was revived in 2003 on the ABC Family Channel.
Original host Deney Terrio (who had been the dance coach and choreographer for John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever) sued Merv Griffin in 1991 for $11.8 million, claiming the entertainer sexually attacked him. Griffin’s attorney called the lawsuit a “piece of garbage” and case was ultimately dismissed.