Dancing with the Stars expands to three hours, adds episodes to counter American Idol

This satirical story is part of the April 1, 2007, edition of reality blurred.

In response to FOX’s seven-minute expansion of American Idol last week, ABC is expanding Dancing with the Stars‘ performance episode to three hours.

The network will also add two additional results shows, airing on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 to 10 p.m. “We asked for the extra time because we just couldn’t fit everything into our results shows on Tuesdays,” a producer said. “It’s really important that we create the maximum amount of suspense so our audience will stay up past lights out at their nursing homes.”

Producers for ABC’s Lost have been hired to write additional dialogue for hosts Tom Bergeron and Samantha Harris, and they told TV Guide’s Michael Ausiello via their direct Dixie cup phone that they will infuse the hosts’ dialogue with deep mysteries and references to philosophers, thereby ensuring that viewers both tune in and think they’re watching something that’s better than it actually is. Executives at ABC aren’t worried that the Lost’s showrunners will be spread too thin between this project, writing Lost, and helping Entertainment Weekly hype their show.

“We trust in their vision, which has only caused a few million viewers to leave the show every week–that’s damn good for ABC. Plus, it’s not like we actually plan or preview any of the other shit we put on the air,” an ABC executive said.

FOX executives are reportedly considering responding by expanding American Idol to five nights a week. Other plans considered include running Breaking News alerts on the FOX News Channel that use adjectives and completely objective question marks to subtly suggest that only terrorists watch ABC shows, or forcing their way into every home in America, turning the TV set to FOX, and smashing the remote. “No decision has been made,” a spokesperson said.

Because the newly expanded performance shows on Mondays will overlap with The Bachelor‘s timeslot, The Bachelor will be moved to ABC’s web site, where it will play automatically when any page loads, thereby increasing its ratings beyond just Chris Harrison’s immediate family. “The Bachelor will help our emerging web site monetize its blogspots, which is important for user-generated Web 2.0 page views,” said an ABC.com senior technical producer and vice president of marketing.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.