We don’t know much yet about the new Dancing with the Stars, but we now know when DWTS season 29 will start—in mid-September, with a live premiere—and we also now know the identities of the professional dancers.
But ABC is not saying anything else about its reboot of the show, except promising “a fresh take on the competition, and exciting new and returning pros, all while maintaining the heart and soul of the beloved series.” Of course, ABC also firing the soul of the series, host Tom Bergeron. That’s an inauspicious start.
ABC says that more information is coming: “celebrity dancers and additional production details will be announced at a later date.” But the network is withholding, until the premiere, the really juicy information, the thing that everyone just can’t wait to find out and that really powers the series and makes it super-watchable television: the pairing of celebrities and partners. “Viewers will have to tune in to the season premiere to find out with whom their favorite professional dancers are paired,” ABC says.
DWTS 29 will premiere Sept. 14, airing two-hour episodes Mondays at 8.
A live reality competition announcing its contestants in advance is the opposite of what Big Brother 22 did earlier this summer, and which I think was a smart move: it both encouraged people to watch the premiere and also allowed for last-minute changes, which were necessary for BB22 when more than one cast member tested positive.
While ABC isn’t saying much, the casting site for studio audiences is collecting information from potential audience members in the event that “live studio audiences are permitted this season.”
On Camera Audiences’ site also says, “Join new host Tyra Banks alongside judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman, and Bruno Tonioli in the studio audience!”
ABC has not yet mentioned the judges in any of its announcements about the new season—only saying the show is ” judged by a panel of renowned ballroom experts”—but I’d be shocked if they kept that exact same, tired judging panel after firing Tom Bergeron. Shocked but not surprised.
Dancing with the Stars 2020 pro dancers
ABC did announce DWTS 29’s roster of 14 pro dancers, which is a mix of returning and new dancers, who will each be paired with a celebrity contestant:
- Brandon Armstrong
- Alan Bersten
- Sharna Burgess
- Cheryl Burke
- Val Chmerkovskiy
- Sasha Farber
- Jenna Johnson
- Daniella Karagach
- Keo Motsepe
- Peta Murgatroyd
- Pasha Pashkov
- Gleb Savchenko
- Emma Slater
- Britt Stewart