There’s no denying that some of the changes to Dancing with the Stars for season 29 have been polarizing, to say the least. There is still a lot of criticism over the dismissals of Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews, and there is also a revamped set designed to make the ballroom feel exciting without a live audience.
So are all of the changes working? Reviews have been mixed for Tyra Banks as host, but to date the ratings are up versus season 28, including more than 30% in the 18-49 demographic. It’s probably not fair to just cite the changes at the reason, though — remember that there is very little competition for Dancing with the Stars to go up against right now, and the initial episodes may be higher as viewers are just curious about the changes.
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Ultimately, it does seem as though the reasoning for the alterations behind-the-scenes has to do with one simple thing: Trying to make the series as current as possible. Speaking to Deadline, here is just some of what executive producer Andrew Llinares had to say:
“We wanted to make the show feel relevant but still hold on to the heart of the show … You can make very significant changes as long as the format stays true. The changes hopefully make the show feel like it speaks to a younger audience, broader audience, while not alienating anyone who has been watching the show for many many years. That’s been the challenge.”
If the ratings stay where they are the rest of the season, producers will be thrilled. It’s just much too early to tell if they will since the premiere and Disney Night are two of the three episodes that have aired so far (and those tend to draw good ratings).
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This article was written by Jessica Carter. Be sure to follow her on Twitter.