“Dancing With the Stars” is ending its 16-year run on ABC and moving to Disney Plus for seasons 31 and 32. What does this mean for the format and could it air two seasons per year?
Here are some reasons we think the show could bring back the results show or go back to airing two seasons per year and also some reasons it might not.
The Argument in Favor of Bringing Back the Results Show or 2 Seasons Per Year
“Dancing with the Stars” aired two seasons per year up through the end of season 26 and season 27, which both aired in 2018. Starting in 2019, the show was scaled down to one season, airing only in the fall. The results show has been gone even longer — the last season to have a separate results show was season 23, which aired in the fall of 2016.
With the move to Disney Plus, some fans are hopeful that Disney Plus wants to launch its foray into live TV with a strong showing and will therefore invest some real money in “Dancing With the Stars,” which, as Deadline noted in its article about the move, hasn’t “been a moneymaker for years” for ABC.
What executives are hoping is that “Dancing With the Stars” will reach a different demographic for Disney Plus past what its other tentpole shows reach. So far, the big breakout hits from Disney Plus have been Marvel- or “Star Wars”-based and they are undoubtedly hoping to bringing a whole new crop of subscribers with “Dancing With the Stars.”
The best way to do that? Bring back what fans love and get rid of what they don’t — i.e., bring back results shows so that voting is open the same amount for every couple. Bring in a new host — which, based on a report from The Sun that says Tyra Banks is out, might be in the works. And possibly go back to airing two seasons per year.
Disney Plus is unique in that it doesn’t really have to worry too much about “timeslots” and making room for “American Idol” in the spring the way ABC does, so if season 31 is successful in the fall of 2022, perhaps they would look at airing season 32 in the spring of 2023, the way the show used to run.
The Case Against Those Features
“Dancing With the Stars” insider Kristyn Burtt made a TikTok video where she explains what the move to Disney Plus means for “Dancing With the Stars,” which she basically calls a life-line for the 16-year-old show.
“This show was unsavable on ABC. You have to remember ratings were down 23 percent in season 30 alone,” said Burtt. “Thank goodness Disney Plus exists because otherwise, we probably wouldn’t have a show. The show would’ve been outright canceled. So it’s great that Disney still sees that there is value in the brand of ‘Dancing With the Stars.’ But understand that this is a cost-saving measure. The budget is going to be smaller, but with an innovative new producer, this could be a game-changer for live television shows on streaming networks. But that also means things like results shows or anything else aren’t going to be coming back. Those days are long gone. So what we need to do is embrace a new and exciting ‘Dancing With the Stars.'”
In a separate video, Burtt said that with ABC getting to broadcast some Monday Night Football games, it could have moved “Dancing With the Stars” to another night and the fans would have followed so, so she said that means it wasn’t making money for ABC any longer. So now they are going to try to make money via Disney Plus subscriptions.
While all of that is true, there have to be people at Disney that realize that if they simply take the same old “Dancing With the Stars” and plop it on Disney Plus, that will probably not mean they reach a ton of new subscribers. One thing that would be incredibly smart of them to do would be to put the old seasons of the show on Disney Plus so that fans can rewatch their favorite seasons. That might be a pricey endeavor due to music rights, but it would be incredibly smart.
Also, without having to air commercials and without having to fill a specific number of minutes, Disney Plus could absolutely do a results show much more inexpensively than ABC could. It could go up the following day after the performance show airs and be as scaled-down as they want to make it. It could be just 10 minutes long if they want — a couple of performances and then the elimination. They really do have a lot of creativity here because they don’t have to adhere to a 30- or 60-minute time slot. Plus, it is in Disney’s best interest to launch this successfully. If they cheap out and the show tanks, that doesn’t help anybody. Hopefully, the executives realize that if they do this right, it could be wildly successful for both Disney Plus and “Dancing With the Stars.”
There will probably be a lot of exciting “Dancing With the Stars” news over the coming months and we are starting to be really optimistic about this move.
“Dancing With the Stars” returns for season 31 in the fall of 2022 on Disney Plus.
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