Dance Fever

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Dance Fever
GenreMusical variety
Created byMerv Griffin
Presented byDeney Terrio (1979–1985)
Adrian Zmed (1985–1987)
Narrated byFreeman King (1979–1980)
Charlie O'Donnell (1980–1987)
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of episodes234[1]
Executive producer(s)Merv Griffin
Producer(s)Ernie Chambers (pilot, 1978), Paul Abeyta (1979–1980); Paul Gilbert (1981-1987)
Camera setupMulti-camera
Running time22–24 minutes
Production company(s)20th Century Fox Television
Anthony Productions
Merv Griffin Productions
Merv Griffin Enterprises (1984–1987)
Distributor20th Television
Original networkSyndication
Audio formatMonaural
Original releaseJanuary 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 technically created by Merv Griffin but most of the show's development on the pilot was by producer Ernest Chambers and director Dick Carson. Paul Abeyta produced the show's first two seasons which was written by Tony Garofalo. Later seasons were produced by Paul Gilbert.

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 who was the announcer on another Griffin show, Wheel of Fortune.

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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