In its 15 previous seasons, Dancing with the Stars has cast its fare share of reality stars but never one of Bravo’s Real Housewives…or a past contestant from FOX’s American Idol. Random coincidence? Not quite. Wetpaint Entertainment has learned the higher-ups at DWTS had actually imposed a ban on cast members from both shows. Why?

“The Real Housewives franchise airs on Bravo, which is owned by NBC,” a source explains. “Dancing with the Stars, which is on ABC, really prefers to promote celebrities within its own network. And Idol is on FOX and often airs at the exact same time as DWTS. The last thing producers wanted was to encourage people to change the channel.”
 
Yet Season 16, which kicks off on March 18, features both Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Lisa Vanderpump and former Idol contestant Kellie Pickler.

“They lifted the ban this season,” the source confirms. “At the end of the day, the show needed the star power. Beverly Hills is one of the most-watched Housewives show and Lisa is arguably its biggest name. And Kellie was a fan favorite on Idol and still has a pretty substantial following. So producers decided to take a chance. If it pays off in terms of ratings, you can expect to see more Bravo and Idol stars on the show in the future.”

We sure hope so. We’d love nothing more than seeing Countess Luann do the tango!

Dancing With the Stars 2013 premiere Monday, March 18 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.