In a shocking move, The Walt Disney Company is moving the hit competition series Dancing With The Stars from ABC to Disney+ after nearly 16 years on the long-running cable network.
According to Deadline, Dancing With The Stars has received a two-year pickup — for Seasons 31 and 32 — and will debut exclusively on Disney+ this fall in the U.S. and Canada, becoming the first live series to debut on the service. It is also believed to be the first live-streaming reality show in the U.S., marking another milestone for direct-to-consumer platforms.
“After over 30 seasons of the program on ABC, including two spin-offs, Dancing with the Stars will move off of ABC this fall in order for the Network to showcase several Monday Night Football games as well as develop and invest in new and future programming,” said the network, which also has had success with fall installments of The Bachelorette in the past two seasons.
Disney executives certainly hope that DWTS’ big following will translate into new viewers — and ultimately additional subscribers — for the platform. “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. “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.”
The show premiered on June 1, 2005, on ABC. It is the U.S. version of the UK series Strictly Come Dancing, and one of several iterations of the Dancing with the Stars franchise. The show pairs celebrities with professional dancers. Each couple performs predetermined dances and competes against the others for judges’ points and audience votes. The couple receiving the lowest combined total of judges’ points and audience votes is eliminated each week until only the champion dance pair remains.
The show was hosted by Tom Bergeron from its inception until 2019. Lisa Canning was co-host in the first season, Samantha Harris co-hosted seasons two through nine, Brooke Burke-Charvet in seasons ten through seventeen, and Erin Andrews from season eighteen through twenty-eight. Since the twenty-ninth season, model Tyra Banks has served as host of the show.
The 30th season of the show aired from September to November 2021.