Long-running dancing competition series “Dancing With the Stars” received a multiple-season pickup on Friday, April 8, but the show is also heading to a new home. Here’s what you need to know about the shakeup.
‘Dancing With the Stars’ is Renewed for Season 31 & Season 32
“Dancing With the Stars” has been renewed for two more seasons, the show announced via press release. But the new seasons will not be airing on ABC, as the previous 30 have. It is moving to Disney Plus.
“Dancing With the Stars” debuted on ABC in the summer of 2005. At the time, then-host Tom Bergeron didn’t think it would amount to much of anything, but here it is, still going strong 17 years later.
“We didn’t know what it was [at first],” Bergeron told his friend, the late Bob Saget, on Saget’s podcast, adding, “People in the meeting wouldn’t even make eye contact with [Andrea Wong, the head of reality TV at the time], they thought it was such a bad idea. [laughs] And to be honest, I didn’t think it was a great idea either and it was my wife and my agent at the time who kind of double-teamed me and said, no, dance is very big. Give it a shot … I had no idea that it would be what it became.”
Professional dancer Cheryl Burke has expressed a similar sentiment, saying during her appearance on judge Carrie Ann Inaba’s “Journey to Wellness” podcast that she never thought the show would last and Inaba agreed. In fact, in an interview with “Access Hollywood,” Inaba said that when “Dancing With the Stars” started, “no one thought [it] would work.”
“It was this tiny little show that no one thought would work,” said Inaba. “It was so random, right? Ballroom dancing, no one would’ve thought. For sure I didn’t think so.”
‘Dancing With the Stars’ Is Becoming the First Disney Plus Live Show
In what is a bit of a surprise move, ABC is no longer the home of “Dancing With the Stars,” which is one of the network’s longest-running series and one of its highest-rated shows.
Instead, the show is moving to Disney Plus for season 31 and season 32, launching the streaming service’s live programming push. The news was announced by the Disney Plus Twitter account, which wrote, “Get the Mirrorball ready. ‘Dancing with the Stars’ is moving to a new home when it returns this fall as the first LIVE series on #DisneyPlus! #DWTS.” ABC will not even air reruns of “Dancing With the Stars,” so Disney Plus will be the only place to watch the show.
This change comes on the heels of executive producer Andrew Llinares stepping down from the show. He joined the show in 2018 ahead of season 26. There is also a report from December 2021 in The Sun that the show is looking to replace host Tyra Banks. Llinares is responsible for firing Bergeron and his co-host Erin Andrews and bringing on new host Banks. Bergeron had a pretty epic response to hearing that Llinares was leaving “Dancing With the Stars.”
“’Dancing with the Stars’ has entertained fans for 16 years on ABC, and we are excited to bring this beloved show exclusively to Disney+ as the platform’s first-ever live series,” said Kareem Daniel, chairman, Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution, in a statement. “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.”
“’Dancing with the Stars’ has been a beloved staple on ABC for 30 seasons and brought so much joy to millions of viewers,” added Dana Walden, Chairman of Entertainment, Walt Disney Television. “As we’re significantly expanding our unscripted slate at ABC, this is a great opportunity to introduce this show to a whole new generation of fans on Disney+. We’re so grateful to our incredible partners at BBC Studios and look forward to continuing our relationship with them on this spectacular series, which will continue to be overseen by Rob Mills and the talented Walt Disney Television Alternative team.”
“The fact that our iconic global format ‘Dancing with the Stars’ will now set the record as the first live series on Disney+ represents a major growth opportunity and a bold next step forward in the evolution of the franchise. This unprecedented move, combined with our two-season pick-up, is a testament to the proven power of ‘Dancing with the Stars’ and a resounding vote of confidence from our great, supportive partners at Disney, showing how much they value and believe in the brand,” said Valerie Bruce, General Manager, BBC Studios, Los Angeles Productions.
There was no premiere date announced for season 31 other than to confirm it is premiering in the fall of 2022. There is no word yet as to whether the move to Disney Plus means the show will return to the two-seasons-per-year format.