The ratings for Dancing With the Stars season 29, which was the first season without Tom Bergeron hosting since the show began, and was also the first season with supermodel Tyra Banks as host, have been tallied and the outcome might surprise you. There’s good news and there’s bad news — and which is which all depends on how you feel about Banks as the new host.
Overall, the Ratings Were Down
For the first three episodes of Dancing With the Stars season 29, the ratings rose compared to a year prior. The premiere was up slightly from the season 28 premiere, according to Show Buzz Daily, and the average over the three episodes was up slightly for season 29. In fact, the season 29 premiere ratings were the highest premiere ratings the show had put up in three years.
However, according to TV Series Finale, the overall season numbers were down over 8 percent from season 28. Season 28 avaraged 6.74 million viewers and season 29 averaged 6.19 million.
Both seasons dipped below a 7 million average for the first time in the show’s history. And as recently as season 24, the show was averaging over 10 million viewers for the season, according to TV Series Finale.
All the recent seasons are a far cry from the series’ high-water mark in seasons 11 and 12, both of which averaged nearly 22 million viewers for the performance night episodes. But the television landscape has become much larger and more divided since those seasons aired in 2010 and 2011, so ratings are down all over. For a broadcast show to still earn nearly 7 million viewers each week in 2020 is a pretty solid performance — Dancing With the Stars was the 36th show overall for the 2019-2020 broadcast season, according to the Nielsen ratings (via USA Today).
However, The Key Demo Was Up in Season 29
But Banks’ addition might have contributed to one key statistic — the numbers for the 18-49 demographic that advertisers love were up.
Season 29 saw nearly an 11 percent increase in the 18-49 demo, earning a 0.95 rating. By comparison, season 28 earned a 0.86 rating in the demo. In fact, season 29 also eked out a win over season 27 in the demo, 0.95 versus 0.93, making it the highest demo average since season 26’s 1.05 rating.
What does that mean for Banks’ future? Well, the ratings bump in the demo may not be causally related to Banks, but the producers and network certainly have to be happy to see that number tick up. As for now, Banks isn’t going anywhere. She has already started talking about how excited she is for season 30.
“First Monday without my @dancingabc fam and I’m already missing all the dance, the glitz and the glam, and getting to play dress up each and every week! This first dress from finale night had me feelin’ like I was about to float away like a cloud (and trip on the stairs!!!) Already can’t wait until next season where you know we will take it up 10 notches. Cuz that’s how we do,” wrote Banks in a recent Instagram post.
Dancing With the Stars will hopefully return with season 30 in 2021. ABC has not yet officially announced a renewal and premiere date.