Ilene Chaiken teams up with The CW for “Confessions of a Backup Dancer”


Have you ever wondered what would happen if you stuck Princess Diaries, Center Stage and Ilene Chaiken in a blender and pressed "frappe"? Well, you’re about to find out. The CW is teaming up with The L Word creator to produce a drama based on the teen novel Confessions of a Backup Dancer.

I may be using the word "novel" a little too loosely. Confessions of a Backup Dancer makes Cecily von Ziegesar‘s Gossip Girl books look like Pulitzer Prize-winning literature. In fact, Confessions of a Backup Dancer makes Junie B. Jones‘ first grade journal look like Pulitzer Prize-winning literature.

See for yourself:

Junie B. Jones, seven years old, in Junie B. Jones, First Grader at Last.

Kelly Kimball, 17 years old, in Confessions of a Backup Dancer.

The premise of Confessions is that Kelly Kimball takes a job as a backup dancer for pop superstar Darcy Barnes. They become best pals until Darcy’s mom, Darla, kicks Kelly out of the show, and she is forced to take a position with an opposing dance troupe. The story is told through Kelly’s entries in her personal diary software.

It sounds like The CW’s version is going to be a little different. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Confessions will "explore the glamorous and gritty behind-the-scenes world of a major pop tour from the point of view of the star’s troupe of backing dancers."

And, of course, it doesn’t really matter if the the book is crap. I mean, look at Gossip Girl. The CW has adapted von Ziegesar’s sophomoric writing into the Greatest Show Ever. What really matters is that the script writer — in this case, Ilene Chaiken — is adept at creating authentic, well-rounded characters and is able to tell organic stories the audience can relate to.

Ruh-roh. Sounds like Confessions is already in trouble!

Or, you know, maybe not. Maybe Chaiken’s move to the CW signals the time to wipe the slate clean and give her another chance to win our affection. Everyone makes mistakes. Maybe she’s ready to learn from the debacle of the last few seasons of The L Word and bring us something fresh and entertaining. With her at the helm of Confessions of a Backup Dancer, we just might get ourselves an actual lesbian teen on TV.

We’ll just have to cross our fingers that Chaiken doesn’t kill her.

What do you think about CW’s plan to team up with Ilene Chaiken?

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