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g   Jeff Collins
S05-E19 Seeing Stars 01.30 Jeff Collins crop.jpg
Gender: Male
Home: North Carolina (originally)
Occupation: Executive Producer
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Jeff Collins is the Executive Producer for Lifetime's Dance Moms, as well as the spin-off series Dance Moms: Miami, Abby's Ultimate Dance Competition, and Abby's Studio Rescue.

Origins and Creation of Dance Moms

According to Collins, Gena McCarthy had recently been made of Lifetime reality programming, and contacted Jeff, as they had previously known each other from working on Bridezillas at WE tv; the two also sharing a relationship with Rob Sharenow. McCarthy told Collins she wanted a show similarly loud and edgy to Bridezillas; given that Lifetime was a woman's network, Collins considered the possibility of a show about mother/daughter relationship(s), and was thinking of what activities those kinds of family members shared together. Bryan Stinson, Jeff's long-time best friend, had recently come to work for Collins Avenue, and had already been tossing around the idea of something like a Dance Moms show, including discussions with his friend John Corella; and their ideas fit in well with Jeff's requested idea for a mother/daughter relationship show. In turn, Corella was already a close friend with Abby back to days as a competition dancer (Corella was a former DMA Mr. Dance of America); and Corella recommended Abby to the other producers. Collins Avenue sent a camera to gather footage from the studio, and Abby was filmed teaching, either by Christi or Kelly. Jeff found that footage very compelling, including from the vantage of the unusual (and long-ago previously built) observation booth, and the basic outlines of the show had been formed.[1]

On Dance Moms


Other information

  • He says people are under the false perception that he is the magician behind the show, micromanaging the way the program works. He points out how many other people work on the show, and says he couldn't possibly do all that by himself.
  • Prior to Dance Moms, Collins worked as executive producer for Bridezillas (although Collins has said he was not that show's creator.)
  • Collins attributes his success to a willingness to work harder than others; rather than to being particularly blessed with talent, education or appropriate background.[2]
  • According to Jeff, it was difficult to think of someone who would work well with all the heated mom discussions for a first reunion special. The network was also uncertain how many people who would watch, and wanted to spend little money, so they made the "ringing endorsement" to Jeff that he should "you just do it, you'll be fine."[3] He says he thinks of his role in the specials as an unobtrusive traffic cop, as well as someone to give brief introductory recaps so the average viewer understands the context of the discussions. He also says the arguments become unruly and emotional, and editing the specials is very difficult.
  • Early in his career, Jeff was a "cater waiter," where he met Leeza Gibbons of the nightly television program Entertainment Tonight. He was able to secure a job as personal assistant with Gibbons by asking, by making it clear he would eagerly perform any tasks (cooking, delivering laundry, etc.) While working as Gibbons' assistant, Collins learned the ropes of television production.[4]
  • Jeff thinks it is inaccurate when people (including Abby) seem to say that there was ever a point when Abby wasn't considered part of the show.[5] He says that, once seeing Abby teach, it was obvious that she was a very big character, who you couldn't help watching.[6]
  • After the end of Season 5 filming, he said he expected the show to continue being made for as long as the ladies in the cast wanted it to continue, which he guessed would probably be at least another season.[7]

Television series credits


To view the gallery for Jeff Collins, click here.