Fox takes leap, greenlights Chicago-produced Big Leap

(George Burns Photography)

Great news for Chicago production community. Fox Entertainment has given a series order to Chicago-produced The Big Leap, starring Scott Foley, Teri Polo and Piper Perabo. It comes from the minds of Liz Heldens, Jason Winer, Sue Naegle, 20th Television and Fox Entertainment.

The ballet-themed dramedy, which Deadline reports has received an initial 10-episode order, was met with an excited response by network execs who compared the reaction to the Glee pilot ten years ago.

The series revolves around a group of diverse, down-on-their-luck characters attempting to change their lives by participating in a potentially life-ruining reality dance show that builds to a live production of Swan Lake. 

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Inspired by the UK reality series Big BalletThe Big Leap is described, “as a modern tale about second chances, chasing your dreams and taking back what’s yours.” 

The pilot, which was filming at Cinespace Studios, was disrupted by the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020. After the shutdown, the producers reportedly considered delivering a partial pilot cut with the existing scenes but 20th Television, ultimately opted to finance the additional shoot as key scenes, including the pilot’s big dance number.

The cast also includes Simone Recasner, Ser’Darius Blain, Raymond Cham Jr., Jon Rudnitsky, Kevin Daniels and Mallory Jansen.

Heldens executive produces with Naegle and Winer who made his drama pilot debut with The Big Leap after directing 16 comedy pilots for 20th TV, including the pilot for Modern Family. The project is a co-production between 20th Television and Fox Entertainment.

According to Deadline, this marks the second 2020 Fox pilot to go to series, joining comedy This Country.

Cinespace is waiting on confirmation that the production will return.