These are exciting (but also slightly nerve-racking) times for Dancing With the Stars.
Season 18 did relatively well in the ratings, giving us hope for the show’s future, and we have a new showrunner here in Rob Wade. He was with DWTS years ago, so he’s not a total newbie, but we’ve been curious about any changes he might have planned for the fall 2014 Season 19 — beyond bringing the Results Show back for a couple of episodes, which is a great start.
TheTVPage asked Rob how he’s going to put his stamp on the show. “Look, viewers love the show,” he answered. “I would be a fool to go in there and say, ‘I want to put my stamp on this. I am going to go in there and shake things up.’ But there are a couple of significant changes that I am in the process of making that I think people will notice.” Gulp! The first part sounded good, but what does he mean by “significant changes”? All we can do is wait to find out.
He did say he’s expecting all three original judges to return, and “for the moment” they are looking at just having three judges. However, he noted, “There is a possibility for a fourth. We are talking about that possibility. But we have to see.” (So there may be room for you, Maksim Chmerkovskiy…)
The pro dancer part of Rob’s interview has us a wee bit anxious: TheTVPage asked about the dancers, and Rob said, “We are always looking for new dancers. We are always looking for fresh cast members. We have a core of people that we love. It is not that we are not happy with the dancers. Again, we have a couple of ideas for that are that we are looking at.”
They do tend to bring in new pros every season, which is great news for the dance community since DWTS is such a great showcase. ABC has turned dozens of dancers into stars over the years, and it’s possible we’ll get to meet dozens more.
But does that mean certain pros we’ve already come to love might not be returning this fall? We already know that our beloved Tristan MacManus won’t be returning because he’ll be judging overseas. And it’s possible Maks will segue into a DWTS judging gig. Who knows what Derek Hough is going to do — even Derek might be too busy to know what his plans are. Cheryl Burke said she’s still deciding whether to return or not, and Mark Ballas seems to have a thriving music career so it’s possible he may decide to focus on that. You never know who might decide now is the time to seek out other opportunities — and, depending on the celebs cast, some pros may not be a right fit for the new season, so they may not be asked back.
What do you think about the showrunner’s early teases? Are you worried or just curious about the “couple of significant changes” he mentioned? Do you think there will be a big pro shake-up or will the usual suspects we know and love return to the fold?
DWTS Season 19 premieres Monday, September 15 from 8 to 10 p.m. ET on ABC.