Dancing With the Stars is set to incorporate some “fun” new format changes when it returns to ABC’s Monday night lineup fall. For the upcoming 28th season of the ABC celebrity ballroom competition, producers hope to tweak the show’s structure and woo even bigger stars than usual, Deadline reports.
Dancing with the Stars was recently for a 28th season after a surprising hiatus this spring. At the 2019 Disney press upfronts event, ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke told reporters that there are plans to freshen up the show’s format after more than two dozen seasons. Burke also revealed that ABC executives have been pitched “some really fun format changes” for Dancing with the Stars that will remain top secret for now. The ABC boss revealed she is excited about some of the ideas to change up the long-running reality show.
“It’s still the show that audience knows and loves but they’ve got some good ideas in terms of how to surprise people in new ways.”
Burke also teased that DWTS is “going after bigger stars than we have in a long time” after a nearly year-long talent search break.
“Resting the show does help us focus on talent and we will go after people that we think will be the strongest. That has been a gift and the producers are chomping at the bit to bring it back next fall.”
Last season, Dancing With the Stars fans were stunned when radio host Bobby Bones beat out more talented celebrity dancers such as of Harry Potter alum Evanna Lynch and Fuller House’s Juan Pablo Di Pace for the 27th mirrorball trophy. At the time of his elimination from the show, Di Pace made his dissatisfaction with the results known.
“The show’s been going on for 27 seasons, and looking at the thousands of comments I’ve got, people aren’t happy with the system,” the Fuller House star told TV Line last fall. “So, yeah, 27 seasons later, maybe it is time for a refresh, a little nip and tuck. Maybe instead of being completely a popularity contest, it could actually be more of a skill contest.”
On the heels of Di Pace’s elimination, angry fans called for changes to the voting system or a “judges’ save” as some other vote-in talent shows have incorporated.
One thing that doesn’t appear to be happening is the return of the show’s two-night format. Dancing With the Stars scrapped its two-night format, which included a separate results show, more than five years ago. The network’s fall 2019 schedule only lists DWTS for Monday nights, with Tuesday nights filled with a comedy block.
When Dancing With the Stars changed to a one-night format back in 2013, the New York Post noted that the two-night extravaganza had become too expensive to produce.
Perhaps the production budget will now be spent on attracting top talent. Deadline notes that Jennifer Love Hewitt has expressed interest in competing on the show and gymnast and viral sensation Katelyn Ohashi is reportedly in talks to join.
Dancing with the Stars is hosted by Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews and features long-standing judges Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli, and Carrie Ann Inaba.
Dancing with the Stars returns to ABC Monday nights at 8 p.m. starting in September.