Fox Courts Blade Babes

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Fox is close to signing former Olympic skaters Katarina Witt and Nancy Kerrigan to appear on upcoming reality show Skating With Celebrities.

Mike Darnell, Fox executive VP for alternative programming and specials, said Thursday he hopes to have both locked up "very soon."

Fox Executive VP, Strategic Program Planning and Research, Preston Beckman said the show will be ready for air by September and probably air "sometime before the [2006 winter] Olympics."

Darnell said he was "banned" by the network from trying to court former Olympian and Kerrigan rival Tonya Harding, who was involved in the infamous assault on Kerrigan.

Harding is no stranger to Fox reality shows, having appeared on the network's Celebrity Boxing. She is now a pro boxer.

Fox's skating show will look to capitalize on the success of ABC's summer reality hit, Dancing With The Stars.

Earlier this week, ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson told B&C he hopes Fox will do less capitalizing in the future. "I hope that with Peter Liguori at Fox we are going to see a little different approach," McPherson said. "I was certainly disappointed to see Ice Skating with the Stars. But what can you do?

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