Allen starred on the TV show "Fame," which aired from 1982-87. The series, which was based on the 1980 motion picture of the same name, was set in a high school for performing arts in New York and chronicled the personal and professional lives and struggles of its students.
Allen, who was also featured in the film, played dance instructor Lydia Grant and also became the show's original choreographer; she directed several episodes and co-produced one season. In 2003 Allen hosted an NBC reality series featuring 24 singer-dancers competing for a recording contract that was based on an Italian format. She also appeared in the 2009 remake of the film.
The CW pilot reflects the increasing popularity of musically themed TV shows, with FOX's "Glee" heading into its fifth season and ABC's "Nashville" returning for a second season.