Home / News / ‘American Idol,’ ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ Producer Nigel Lythgoe To Launch ‘So You Think You Can Fight’ Series

‘American Idol,’ ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ Producer Nigel Lythgoe To Launch ‘So You Think You Can Fight’ Series

Credit: Elvert Barnes

Nigel Lythgoe, the television mega-producer and creative force behind the powerhouse global television franchises “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance,” is joining forces with the disruptive technology platform Triller Fight Club to create a new series, “So You Think You Can Fight,” it was announced today. The weekly, hour-long series is part of a new overall relationship between Triller Fight Club and Lythgoe, who also becomes Creative Partner, Visionary and an Executive Producer of Triller Fight Club and will bring his celebrated skills as a television producer and entertainment impresario to Triller Fight Club events. The announcement was made jointly by Lythgoe and Ryan Kavanaugh, co-owner of TrillerNet, which is parent company to Triller Fight Club and the global AI-powered short video and music discovery app Triller.

“So You Think You Can Fight” will follow in a similar format to “So You Think You Can Dance,” but with a unique twist. The series will pair a celebrity action star with a pro fighter, each who will select an amateur boxer through a global talent search and competition, along with audience voting and participation. The selected contestants will each go through rigorous mental and physical training, squaring off against each other with one winner for each category, lightweight, heavyweight and MMA. Each winner will go on to a pro bout on a Triller Fight Club main event that will launch their pro boxing career.

As the new creative partner and executive producer of Triller Fight Club events, Nigel will be responsible for blending the intense competition of world-class boxing with edge-of-your-seat entertainment by global music stars and celebrities to create the four-quadrant entertainment experience that defines Triller Fight Club.

Lythgoe is already at work on the Triller Fight Club’s upcoming June 19 event at Miami’s loanDepot park, which will be themed “The Greatest Showman” in recognition of boxing’s current showman, undefeated Teófimo López, who is putting his five championship belts on the line in the headline fight against the undefeated George Kambosos Jr. for the undisputed lightweight champion of the world. The June 19 event will make history by having men’s and women’s undisputed title fights on the same card for the first time ever, with Franchon Crews-Dezurn taking on Elin Cederroos in a four-belt title bout on the main card.

The June 19 event will be followed by Triller Fight Club’s August event, in which one of the world’s most respected and accomplished athletes, Evander “The Real Deal” Holyfield, the only person ever to win the World Heavyweight Title four times, will return to the ring to fight Kevin McBride in a six-round fight. The veteran McBride (35-10-1) is best known for ending the career of Mike Tyson in June of 2005 when Tyson retired in the sixth round in Washington, DC. The action will continue in September, when Triller Fight Club hosts the highly anticipated comeback of the Golden Boy himself, Oscar del La Hoya, in a match-up to be announced this summer.

“Nigel Lythgoe is a giant among giants, and his new role at Triller is a total game changer for us,” said Ryan Kavanaugh. “Nigel has changed the face of competition-based television around the world, and there is no one better to help us bring the excitement of Triller Fight Club to our global audiences, both through our exciting new streaming series and by adding his visionary storytelling abilities to our Fight Club events. We could not be more excited to welcome Nigel to the Triller team.”

Snoop Dogg, partner in Triller Fight Club, noted, “Boxing and dancing share the same movements and the same rhythm, and who better to take Fight Club to the next level that the person who brought the world ‘American Idol’ and ‘So You Think You Can Dance,’ the iconic talent discovery platforms where music, competition, movement and showmanship all count towards the victory, which in our case is hopefully by a knockout.”

Nigel Lythgoe commented, “Triller has built something extraordinary, and they truly have their finger on the pulse of where live event entertainment is headed. As a lifelong fan of music and boxing, I am thrilled to be getting into the ring with Ryan, Snoop and the whole Triller team to join their disruptive and innovative journey. Everyone is fighting for something in this world, and I’m excited to tell the many fascinating stories behind the raised gloves.”

Nigel Lythgoe is the co-creator, executive producer and head judge of Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance” which launched in 2005. Lythgoe produced “Pop Idol” in the UK and its U.S. edition, “American Idol,” which helped change the face of American reality television. Nigel began his career as a dancer and later as a choreographer, eventually choreographing over 500 TV shows. He segued into producing television as Head of Entertainment and Comedy at London Weekend Television, where he commissioned and produced legendary TV shows including “Gladiators” (produced as “American Gladiators” in the US) and “Blind Date.”
“So You Think You Can Fight” is expected to launch later this year on Triller’s new live streaming platform Triller Verzuz TV, which was formed through TrillerNet’s recent acquisitions of Swizz Beatz and Timbaland’s ground-breaking live-streaming channel Verzuz and premier global live-event streaming platform FITE (FITE.tv).

The new series is inspired by the growing popularity of boxing among Millennials and Gen Z and by Triller’s successful expansion into boxing, which began with the now-legendary Mike Tyson vs Roy Jones Jr fight and music spectacle that shattered records for digital Pay Per Views in November 2020. Formalized as Triller Fight Club in partnership with Snoop Dogg, the next event was the April 17 Jake Paul vs Ben Askren PPV fight, which became one of the most talked-about, most bet-on and most-pirated sporting events of 2021. The PPV featured nine additional fights as well as performances by music superstars Justin Bieber, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, The Black Keys, Doja Cat, Saweetie, Diplo, Major Lazer and commentators including “SNL”’s Pete Davidson and internet stars Charli and Dixie D’Amelio.

About Jerry Milani

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Jerry Milani is a freelance writer and public relations executive living in Bloomfield, N.J. He has worked in P.R. for more than 25 years in college and conference sports media relations, two agencies and for the International Fight League, a team-based mixed martial arts league, and now is the PR manager for Wizard World, which runs pop culture and celebrity conventions across North America. Milani is also the play-by-play announcer for Caldwell University football and basketball broadcasts. He is a proud graduate of Fordham University and when not attending a Yankees, Rams or Cougars game can be reached at Jerry (at) JerryMilani (dot) com.

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