Dancing With the Stars has returned for season 26, with an all-new lineup of contestants, but this time, all of the participants are athletes. Co-hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews are back, along with all three of the judges as well. Some of the biggest winners over the years have been athletes, so this should be a very competitive season.
For those who do not have cable, there are still plenty of options for you to watch the show. So, if you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, you can watch ABC live on your computer, phone or streaming device by signing up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services:
Hulu With Live TV: In addition to their extensive Netflix-like streaming library, Hulu now also offers a bundle of live TV channels, including ABC (live in select markets). You can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV” right here, and you can then watch a live stream of ABC via your computer on the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.
DirecTV Now: ABC (live in select markets) is included in all four of the channel packages. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial, and you can then watch ABC live on your computer via the DirecTV Now website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the DirecTV Now app.
Sling TV: ABC (live in select markets) is included in the “Sling Orange” plus “Broadcast Extra” channel package. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial, and you can watch ABC live on your computer via the Sling TV website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app.
In addition to this season being an all-athlete edition, there is another new cast shakeup. There is a new showrunner, according to The Hollywood Reporter and Andrew Llinares has taken on the job. Upon announcing the news, Llinares said that, “Dancing With the Stars is one of the largest scale shows on television, and I love that it provides a place for me, as a producer, to have big, ambitious ideas that I can then bring to life. It can be quite the undertaking to come in to a show that has been on the air for 25 seasons, but I’m excited about taking on the challenge and finding new ways to take the show forward.”
Llinares also said that when it comes to DWTS, “It’s definitely about evolution rather than revolution. Story and emotion are absolutely key for me. With that in mind, I want us to find ways to make the stories on the show even more compelling and the emotional connection which the viewer has to the performances, even stronger.” Llinares also said that he wants to make sure that fans are coming back for more each week.
Another new development in the Dancing With the Stars family is Dancing With the Stars Junior, according to TV Guide. ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey talked about Dancing Junior and made it clear that the all-athlete edition of DWTS season 26 is not a replacement for that idea. Dungey said, “We were in the early stages of talent search for Dancing Junior and it wasn’t going to come together as quickly as we would have liked. We’d been talking for awhile about trying to do an all-sports edition, but the problem is that athletes have such tight schedules it’s hard to do a whole 13-week run. This actually slotted in perfectly, so we’re going to try that and see how it goes.” Pro dancer Keo Motsepe dished to Closer Weekly that he thinks children as competitors would be a great idea.
In other DWTS news, two fan-favorite pro dancers, Sasha Farber and Emma Slater, recently got married. Both of them are competitors on the show this season as well. The couple actually got engaged live on the show and USA Today has reported that some of the DWTS-related guests at their wedding included Cheryl Burke, Julianne Hough and her husband Brooks Laich, in addition to former contestants Nick and Vanessa Lachey, along with Drew Scott.
Some of this season’s athletic competitors include Adam Rippon, Tonya Harding, Jamie Anderson, Johnny Damon, Josh Norman and Kareem Abdul-Jabaar. Previously, there were rumors that the show was looking to bring Caitlyn Jenner on board. Page Six reported that the show was courting the 68-year-old Olympic gold medalist for season 26. Several of her family members have competed on the show in the past, like Kim Kardashian and Rob Kardashian, so it’s not a far-fetched concept. But, Jenner will not be joining the cast.