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Sean Daly, Michelle Stark and Sharon Kennedy Wynne

Jessica King quits 'So You Think You Can Dance'

14

July

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Is Fox TV hiding behind HIPAA?Soyouthinkyoucandancelogo

That's the impression Nigel Lythgoe, the bratty Brit judge and co-creator of Fox's reality hit So You Think You Can Dance? left TV critics here, after announcing that dancer Jessica King would be leaving the show, and then refusing to detail the injury that knocked her off the show -- citing the HIPAA laws against revealing medical information.

"I've been instructed not to discuss the injury...you have a law here which says I cannot discuss the injury," said Lythgoe, also dropping the nugget that King would be explaining her injury herself on the show Wednesday. I wonder, is it also possible Fox wants the cause of such a momentous change to be revealed on their air, instead of on the blogs and columns of 200 newspapers nationwide?

"I'd like to get off this subject as quickly as possible," Lythgoe added during the session, noting that most recently eliminated semi-finalist Comfort Fedoke will take her place. This is how one of the first press conferences held by a network at the TV Critics Association's summer press tour kicked off -- with news that a dancer would be leaving TV's highest-rated summer show (and the Tampa Bay area's highest-rated program as well), but with little explanation as to why.

We're in for an interesting day here at the TCA tour -- Fox will soon bring press sessions on Lost creator J.J. Abrams new X-Files-type drama, Fringe (which Fox screened last night to mixed reviews from critics here) and a Fox News Channel session with former White House political strategist Karl Rove.

As I've written before in this space, network TV is in flux -- no one here knows where the future of medium lies and there don't seem to be a lot of bold plans for meeting the new challenges. Rest assured, we will chronicle all the missteps and false starts here.   

By the way, my fave line of the session came from another bratty judge, Mary Murphy, who acknowledged her, um, generous vocal contributions to the program by admitting "I'm here today to inform you that I'm louder than a vacuum cleaner and rock band and a jet engine." No doubt, lady.

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 2:49pm]

    

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