It's one of the biggest shows on US television, but was axed by TVNZ in 2010 after five seasons because of the "recessionary environment". However, Dancing With the Stars is set to return to New Zealand television in a new, modern format just as reality event shows are dominating the TV environment.
Great Southern Television, makers of The Apprentice, The Cult and Agent Anna, has bought the local rights to the television series, based on the British series Strictly Come Dancing.
Managing director Phillip Smith told The Diary the acquisition from the BBC will see the series return here "in a more spectacular and dynamic version".
"Great Southern Television has acquired the rights in New Zealand and we're going to bring it back here. It's had a good rest and it's ready for a completely modern turn now."
The natural home is TV One, where it once reigned, but Great Southern will pitch to all broadcasters.
At last week's new season launch, TVNZ would not confirm if it would deliver a third series of New Zealand's Got Talent, which is reliant on NZ on Air funding and commercial support.
Ratings were down on this year's season debut.
In 2009 the state broadcaster announced it would drop Dancing With the Stars the following year because its popularity had not translated into profits. The show was expensive to produce and inevitably morphed into a graveyard where Kiwi celebrities went to die in shame. The list of stars was less dazzling and more dismal.
But Dancing With the Stars has delivered impressive results for Channel Seven in Australia with 12 long series, and Strictly remains the biggest entertainment show in the UK.
"We are hoping Phil can work his magic and produce a fantastic show for Kiwi audiences," said Laura Dumbrell from BBC Worldwide Australia and NZ.
A new-look Dancing With the Stars could see the show screen several nights a week on prime time, much like The Block.
This type of scheduling, called strip-programming, ensures consistency, coherency and big commercial dollars for the network. It's the mega format of network reality shows.
Smith says his Dancing With the Stars has the potential to run three times a week: the dancing competition, the results show, and behind-the-scenes outtakes.
The original weekly series featured Jason Gunn and Candy Lane as hosts. This time Tamati Coffey and Hayley Holt are tipped.
As to the line-up of celebrities who could get their dancing shoes and sparkles on, a hit show needs a mixed cauldron of personalities, small screen stars, faded national icons, makeover names and a couple of sportspeople thrown in for good measure.
Here are The Diary's picks:
*Honor Dillon (ex-sports star, mum, chief Wag, looks terrific in sequins and fake tan).
*Kim Dotcom (loves publicity, could afford to lose some pounds, would get him out of a black fleecy).
*Polly Gillespie (rumoured to be transferring to Classic Hits next year, possible rebranding opportunity).
*Ali Williams (new physical challenge following his one-year rugby sabbatical in France).
*Judy Bailey (big telly comeback for the mother of the nation).
*John Tamihere (frankly, what else is on his agenda next year?).
*Bevan Chuang (burlesque queen is keen on a PR makeover after mayoral sex scandal).
*Siobhan Marshall (actress oozes charisma and we've seen little of her since The Blue Rose sank).
*Jon Toogood (muso would bring rock god sex appeal).
*Lisa Carrington (golden girl Olympian).
*John Banks (could tangle with Dotcom on the dance floor).
Channelling funds to Philippines
The race to raise money for the Philippines following the devastating Typhoon Haiyan has both TVNZ's Seven Sharp and TV3's Campbell Live in a battle of benevolence for the relief effort.
Campbell Live has so far raised a whopping $630,000 for Unicef via a $200k donation from Gareth Morgan and $3 texts from engaged viewers.
"Text donations are increasing by $100,000 a day", a TV3 rep tells
, "and several schools are holding mufti-days this Friday to raise more money for the cause".
A golf putter signed by Lydia Ko has topped more than $2000, and is likely to go for considerably more when auction bids close on Friday.
However, with three days to go, TVNZ looks likely to lose the goodwill race. It doesn't bode well for the network which has failed to send any reporters to cover the devastation in the Philippines, while TV3 has found the funds to send teams from