A new report says that Andrew Llinares, the executive producer who was part of the production team that fired longtime host Tom Bergeron and hired new host Tyra Banks, is being replaced at “Dancing With the Stars.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Deadline Reports That Llinares Has Been Let Go
Entertainment news site Deadline reported on March 17 that “Dancing With the Stars” is “looking for Llinares’ replacement,” even though the show has not yet been renewed for a 31st season.
In December 2021, The Sun reported that ABC executives were looking to replace Tyra Banks as host, so is this report from Deadline hinting at other changes happening behind the scenes at “Dancing With the Stars”? Banks is a co-executive producer alongside Llinares, so it could lend a little credence to the report that ABC is looking to replace Banks. A source told The Sun that ABC executives want to sign “at least one major star” to reinvigorate “Dancing With the Stars” viewers, someone who “will make headlines on and off screen.”
Heavy has reached out to ABC for comment but did not immediately receive a response.
“Dancing With the Stars” ratings have been down the two seasons Banks has been the host. Nielsen ratings show season 27 averaged 7.12 million viewers, according to TV Series Finale, and season 28 averaged 6.74 million viewers according to Nielsen ratings, the outlet reported, whereas season 29, when Banks joined, averaged 6.19 million viewers and season 30 averaged just 4.9 million viewers, according to TV Series Finale.
There Have Been Many Changes at ‘Dancing With the Stars’ Since Llinares Joined the Staff
Since Llinares was hired for season 26 in 2018, there have been quite a few changes to the dancing competition series.
Host Tom Bergeron, who had been with the show since the very beginning, was fired after he publicly spoke out against casting choices he did not agree with. He has never named names, but he has said that ahead of season 28, he spoke with producers about not casting anyone political from either side of the aisle. After former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer was cast, Bergeron issued a statement on social media in 2019 about disagreeing with the casting choices for that season.
UPDATE: Tom Bergeron has responded to the report that Llinares is on his way out at “Dancing With the Stars.”
The original post continues below.
In season 29, supermodel and former “America’s Next Top Model” host Tyra Banks was brought on to replace Bergeron and co-host Erin Andrews, who joined the show for season 18 in 2014. Banks has not been a popular choice among viewers, with common complaints being that she’s not great at doing live TV (“America’s Next Top Model” was not a live show) and that she makes the show all about herself.
Notably, Llinares was part of the decision to cast a same-sex couple on the show when popstar JoJo Siwa was paired with pro dancer Jenna Johnson. Llinares and Banks were part of that announcement at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in August 2021.
At the time, Llinares said during the press conference, “We are so, so excited that, JoJo, you’re doing this, and for everyone to experience this on the show.”
In the same Q&A, Llinares praised the job Banks was doing on the show, particularly how she handled flubbing an elimination announcement in season 29, saying, “Tyra, in that moment, was so unbelievably professional because there was a lot going on behind the scenes. She had a lot of voices in her ear because something had happened behind the scenes, and it was astonishing how calmly she dealt with it. She was an utter professional. And I couldn’t have been happier with the way that you dealt with it. It was amazing, Tyra.”
“Dancing With the Stars” has not yet been renewed for season 31. If it is renewed, it will return in September 2022.