With Dancing with the Stars in its 29th season, the producers shocked the television show by letting go of long-time host Tom Bergeron and reporter Erin Andrews. With this pandemic season underway, the producers replaced the co-hosts with one singular host Tyra Banks.
And that wasn’t the only change on the show. Long-time dancing judge Len Goodman skipped out on the season for COVID-19 health precautions. Derek Hough, a long-time dancing choreographer on the show, takes his turn as a judge for the first time.
During a virtual conference with the press, the producers anticipated loads of questions about the changes and pandemic production. The panelists included host/executive producer Tyra Banks, judge Derek Hough, executive producer Andrew Llinares, and co-executive producer Deena Katz.
Andrew Llinares noted the show needed renewed energy after Dancing with the Stars being in its 29th season.
“I think it’s all about evolution. I think any show like this that has been on for many, many seasons needs to continue to evolve. So, I think changing the host is all about evolution. It was about making the show feel fresh, making it feel new, kind of make it reach out maybe to a new audience as well as the audience that’s been there for years,” stated executive producer Andrew Llinares. “I think it’s worked brilliantly with the one host. It’s really refreshed the pace of the show, actually. I think it’s taken it to a new place in terms of moving faster and just feeling different.”
The producer noted that the premiere was the highest-rating premiere in three years. With every single show this season, the numbers had grown in numbers.
“People seem to be enjoying what we are doing, and I hope we can keep giving them a show that they are going to love for the next few weeks as well, “said Llinares.
Tyra Banks added, “And I get calls from the Dancing with the Stars team. They are like, ‘Girl, have you seen the ratings?” I open my phone and I’m like, ‘What?’ I never in a million years thought that we would be able to increase the ratings by this number.”
As for Len Goodman off the show this season, Llinares originally had Derek Hough in mind for a long time.
“First of all, we’ve been speaking to Derek for months about potentially coming on the show, and the plan was for it to be the four of them—Len, Bruno, Carry Ann, and Derek,” he explained. “Of course, because of the situation this year, that couldn’t happen. We miss Len. We love that we found a way that we can at least have a sprinkle of Len across the season. Who knows what will happen next year?”
Hough joked, “I’m trying to edge him out because I’m still bitter of the ‘6’ he gave me ten years ago. I’m just kidding. I love Len.”
ABC’s Dancing with the Stars airs every Monday at 8 p.m.
Source: LRM Online, ABC