ABC will soon teach a new generation to cha-cha and mambo—not to mention avoid guys who keep Ayn Rand in their back pockets—with its small-screen remake of Dirty Dancing. (It seems the Kenny Ortega-helmed remake foxtrotted its way into oblivion last year.) Abigail Breslin, who’s playing Frances “Baby” Houseman, was the first to sign on to the production, which may end up showing much of the original film in order to hit its reported 3-hour runtime. That, or there will be an intermission featuring Robbie (Awkward’s Shane Harper) reading from The Fountainhead.
Newcomer Cole Prattes will teach Breslin’s Baby the tricks and ball changes of his trade as dance instructor Johnny Castle—and it’s safe to say that Prattes will have his work cut out for him in assuming the role originated by the late Patrick Swayze. Debra Messing is set to provide maternal clucking as Baby’s mom (as well as whatever gene she believes she’s passed on to provide Baby with her dancing ability), and she’ll be joined in her parenting duties by Bruce Greenwood (American Crime Story, Star Trek Into Darkness, and many other things).
According to TV Line, Greenwood has been cast as Dr. Jake Houseman, Baby’s father and the man warned not to put her into a corner. As the Houseman patriarch, Greenwood will presumably be asked to look down on Johnny while also helping his friend in need, ignore his daughter Lisa (Modern Family’s Sarah Hyland) until he’s disillusioned by her younger sister, and otherwise find a way to make viewers not miss the late Jerry Orbach so much. Maybe he can ask Billy Dee Williams for some help.