The popular ABC ballroom competition, Dancing With the Stars, was hit with some major news when it was revealed that Tyra Banks would be leaving her role as host after three seasons. The news came as a surprise to fans of the show, but from how she explained it, Banks is ready to move on to a new venture and focus more on building up her own business. There’s nothing wrong with that, sometimes things just aren’t going how you expected. At least, that’s how it sounded when Banks noted that “it’s time” to walk from this job. What this means for Dancing With the Stars remains to be seen, but what is known, is that this is yet another issue that has plagued the series as of late. Banks’ reception on the show was generally mixed, so her departure isn’t impacting the fan base like it did when both Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews were let go from the series after 14 years as hosts. The larger issue at hand is the bad juju that seems to be attaching itself to the show over the past few years.
What Bergeron Said After Being Fired Makes More Sense Now
The longtime host didn’t hold back when explaining how he felt after being fired. According to Bergeron, he was let go because he had differing opinions on the inclusion of a certain contestant, which clearly was Sean Spicer in Season 28. Bergeron has said Spicer shouldn’t be on the show because he didn’t believe anyone in the world of politics should be on, especially during that particular point in the political landscape. Bergeron said that the show that he left was not the same one he helped to build up, so there was definitely some stuff going on behind-the-scenes that he wasn’t a fan of.
Moving on from the face of the show was a risky move for Dancing With the Stars, and its attempt at bringing in a big name like Banks didn’t pan out how they wanted it to, now that she is already out after being brought on in 2020. With Banks walking out on her own terms, it suggests that something may really be off with the show’s production, especially considering she hosted America’s Next Top Model for more than a decade. Having to replace another host is yet another major change the program will have to undergo.
A New Host Amidst Declining Ratings
The Nielsen ratings don’t lie. The numbers for Dancing With the Stars were in decline, which is why the move to Disney+ took place. Opening with a 5.1 rating in Season 1, the series saw a 0.74 rating for Season 30 in 2021, which was the final one to air on ABC. Disney Plus doesn’t release its ratings, so there’s no way of telling how it performed but being it was the first ever live show on the platform, it likely went through some hiccups in its inaugural streaming season. All we know now is that Dancing With the Stars has at least one more season on the service, though if Disney+ has shown us anything, it’s that things can be pulled more abruptly than something that airs on a network. When Disney moved the competition to its own streaming network, they gave it a two-season renewal.
Barring something unforeseen, the show will return in the fall but with a new person leading the way. The most likely choice, considering how Disney CEO Bob Iger has stressed the importance of dialing back shows and inevitably the cost that goes with them, would be to promote Alfonso Ribeiro from co-host to the one and only host. The show typically has operated with two hosts but if cost-cutting is at the forefront, utilizing one house whose already on the payroll could be the smartest route. The loss of Banks just a few years after losing Bergeron and Andrews won’t be the only notable absence from this long-running franchise. Len Goodman announced during last season that he would be retiring from his position as the head judge after holding that spot since the show’s inception. Pro dancer Cheryl Burke also revealed Season 31 would likely be her final one. All of these departures suggests the show is much closer to the end than it ever has been before.
There still is a place for this show in the television landscape. After all, competition shows remain as popular as ever, if not more, as shows like American Idol, America’s Got Talent and The Masked Singer remain relevant. Perhaps Dancing With the Stars needs this changing of the guard to reignite interest or bring in celebrity dancers who attract more attention, which is what they attempted to do this past season with TikTok influencer, Charli D’Amelio. With just one more season officially on the docket before a decision needs to be made, it’s very likely Disney will wait and see how this upcoming season performs before deciding whether to continue this series or not. What remains to be seen will be if Disney wants to throw more money into this show in an attempt to regain its following or let this thing slowly simmer away as it has been the past few years.
Dancing With the Stars will return in the fall on Disney Plus.
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