Tyra Banks had a reason to celebrate after the Season 29 premiere of Dancing with the Stars aired on Monday night. On Tuesday, the show’s new host took to Twitter to react to wonderful news about the ABC reality series’ ratings. According to Deadline, viewership was up. In fact, such a large audience tuned in to see the new socially-distanced version of the competition that the premiere was the highest-rated since Season 25 in 2017.
Tyra shared her joy over the news in a tweet that can be seen here. The supermodel also praised the people involved in the show’s production who worked hard to overcome the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m so excited to share that the ratings for @DancingABC premiere episode were up 30%!” she wrote. “The crew and cast brought it and I thank them for their dedication and next-level fierceness in the ballroom – in front of and behind the camera!”
Some fans were upset about Tyra’s hiring because she replaced longtime host Tom Bergeron and co-host Erin Andrews, who were both fired. On social media, many viewers complained about the cast shakeup. A number of fans also vowed to quit watching the series due to the duo’s surprising ousting. However, as reported by The Inquisitr, many of those who did view the first episode expressed satisfaction with Tyra’s performance.
In response to her tweet about ratings, some of Tyra’s followers revealed that they tuned in just to see the America’s Next Top Model creator. She also received more praise.
“I didn’t watch until yesterday because of you. You are what the show needed. Congratulations!!!” wrote one fan.
“I only watched because of you @tyrabanks!!! Your entrance last night was EVERYTHING!!!” another remark read.
“You did fantastic!” gushed a third person.
There were also plenty of major alterations to the Dancing with the Stars format to spark fans’ curiosity and tempt them to tune in. There was no live audience, and the professional dancers couldn’t jazz up their routines by including troupe members in their performances. The judges’ table underwent a big change a well, with a fan-favorite pro, Derek Hough, stepping in to replace Len Goodman. Britt Stewart also made DWTS history as its first Black female dance pro.
The revamped DWTS attracted 8.1 million viewers, and it scored a 1.3 rating in the adults 18-to-49 demographic. Its main competition was the NBC reality series American Ninja Warrior, which netted 3.05 million viewers and a 0.5 rating in the same demographic.
It’s possible that some of this season’s celebrities also deserve some credit for the viewership boost. Ahead of her debut as host, Tyra suggested that Tiger King personality Carole Baskin would be a big draw.