Although casting hasn’t been made official and filming is still a ways off, the longtime DWTS judge is returning to the show — and she’s looking forward to it.
“I will be definitely there next season at the judges’ table where I normally sit. I’m very excited about it. I think it’s going to be a really good change. After 30 seasons, some shows don’t make it that far. The fact that we’re still evolving and trying new things, it says a lot about our brand,” she told E! News.
Inaba will be joined by Bruno Tonioli, who confirmed his return in May 2022. “‘Dancing with the Stars’ has moved to Disney+, which is a big deal. Because of the travel situation, I will be there. It is going to be streaming live. It is very, very, exciting,” he told Deadline, confirming his departure from “Strictly Come Dancing.”
Inaba also told E! News that some changes were afoot — and that some things are likely to stay the same.
Here’s what you need to know:
Inaba Admitted That There Will Be Some Big Changes With the Show Airing on a Streaming Network as Opposed to Cable TV
When DWTS returns to television in the fall, there will be some big changes coming. Aside from the fact that only subscribers to Disney+ will be able to watch the season, Inaba said that the way that voting is conducted is more than likely going to change.
“It’s a little bit different. I think the difference is maybe live voting across the country. Maybe there’s gonna be some things that will come along with the scripts that I think people are gonna love. People don’t always like change, but I think they’ll adapt,” she told E! News.
Regardless of how things may function or what changes are made, showrunners seem confident with the switch to a streaming platform.
“The show’s broad appeal, as well as the overwhelming popularity of its Disney-themed competition nights, make Disney+ the perfect home for ‘Dancing with the Stars’ while continuing to expand our demographic reach,” Kareem Daniel, chairman, Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution told Deadline when the move was first announced.
Inaba Says She Wants Tyra Banks to Return as DWTS Host
While there have been all kinds of rumors about whether or not Tyra Banks will make the move to Disney+ and stay on as host, Inaba made her feelings clear on the matter.
“Of course, we want Tyra!” she said. “The thing about ‘Dancing with the Stars’ is, once you’re on our show, you’re in the family. That’s so precious. We truly are family. Not many shows are as close as we are,” she added.
And while Inaba may be pro-Banks as DWTS host, it seems like a decision has not yet been made — and, if it has, those associated with the show probably don’t know about it.
“As far as the show goes, the only information we received of it is we are going to be on a different platform, but as far as like, who’s going to be part of it and even ourselves as dancers, I’m not sure,” ballroom pro Artem Chigvintsev told Us Weekly in April 2022. “We’re definitely not the first people to find out what’s going on,” he added.