'Dancing With the Stars' Producer Dies at 47

By the Associated Press | January 9, 2012 | 12:21 PM EST

In this Nov. 21, 2011 photo released by ABC, Ricki Lake and her partner Derek Hough perform on the celebrity dance competition series "Dancing with the Stars," in Los Angeles. On Tuesday, the remaining three couples will perform their favorite dance of the season for another score from the judges before the third-place finalists are eliminated. The remaining two pairs will compete in one final routine for the season 13 title. (AP Photo/ABC, Adam Taylor)

LONDON (AP) — Richard Hopkins, a British television producer who helped bring "Dancing With the Stars" to the United States, has died. He was 47.

Hopkins died Saturday in Britain after an 8-month battle with cancer, Sony Music said in a statement issued Monday.

Over his 20-year career, Hopkins produced "Fame Academy" and "Fear Factor" in Britain, and worked on the first series of reality show "Big Brother" before developing, pitching and producing popular dance contest "Strictly Come Dancing" for the BBC.

He then brought the format to America, where the show was rechristened "Dancing With the Stars."

Hopkins ran the BBC's format entertainment division between 2003 and 2006, then launched Fever Media, a joint venture TV company with Sony Music.

Fever Media joint managing director David Mortimer said he felt privileged to be both business partner and friend to Hopkins.

"Television is by its nature an ephemeral business, so very few of us can hope to have any lasting legacy," Mortimer said in a statement. "Richard was a glorious exception to this rule, and as one of the greatest producers of his generation he quite literally got the world dancing."

Hopkins is survived by his wife and three daughters. Funeral details were not immediately available.