Dance Fever

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For the 2003 version of this series, see Dance Fever (2003 TV series). For the episode of George Lopez, see List of George Lopez episodes.
Dance Fever
Genre Musical variety
Created by Merv Griffin
Presented by Deney Terrio (1979–1985)
Adrian Zmed (1985–1987)
Narrated by Freeman King (1979–1980)
Charlie O'Donnell (1980–1987)
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 234[1]
Executive producer(s) Merv Griffin
Producer(s) Paul Abeyta (1979–1980)
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 22–24 minutes
Production company(s) 20th Century Fox Television
Anthony Productions
Merv Griffin Productions (1979–1984)
Merv Griffin Enterprises (1984–1987)
Distributor 20th Television
Sony Pictures Television
Original network Syndication
Audio format Monaural
Original release January 13, 1979 (1979-01-13) – September 5, 1987 (1987-09-05)

Dance Fever is an American musical variety series that aired weekly in syndication from January 1979 to September 1987. The series was created and produced by Merv Griffin and Paul Abeyta (2 years) and was written by Tony Garofalo.

Deney Terrio hosted the series until September 1985, where he was replaced by Adrian Zmed. The show's announcer for the first two years was Freeman King until September 1980 where he was replaced by Charlie O'Donnell.

During Terrio's tenure as host, the show's theme was performed by a musical team called Triple "S" Connection.


Each week, four dancing couples competed for a weekly cash prize of $1,000; Each couple performed their dance routine for 90-120 seconds and the celebrity judges scored them anywhere between 70 and 100 points, based on 4 categories: originality, showmanship, style, and technique. The couple with the highest average total score were the winners and advanced into the next round of competition. In the event of a tie, one set of celebrity scores was dropped in an effort to decide a winner; every fifth week was a semi-final show where those winning couples from the last four weeks competed for $5,000.

At the end of a 25-week competition, the five semi-final winners all came back to face off in the show's annual Grand Prix Finals for cash and prizes worth over $25,000 which included two brand new cars (one for each member of the winning dance team). In September 1984, the grand prize package was raised to $50,000.

Each week except for the year-end Grand Prix Finals, the show also featured a segment in which some of the top disco, pop, or R&B artists of the day would perform their latest hit.


  1. ^ The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present. Ballantine Books. 2003. p. 274. ISBN 0-345-45542-8. 

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