Bill Nye the Science Guy, whose fan-fave-dom is helping ABC resuscitate ratings on its Dancing with the Stars franchise, injured his knee when he tripped at the end of last night’s paso doble — a performance show judge Carrie Ann Inaba best described as a “weird bizarre masterpiece of insanity”. The network is waiting for MRI results to know if he will be able to continue with the competition. “We can confirm Bill Nye was injured during his performance last night and is currently seeking medical attention,” the network said in response to questions. “We will continue to keep you posted on his progress.” Losing Nye would be a blow to the show, as it soft-shoes its way back up in the ratings. His first dance on the show went viral on YouTube. This week, dressed as Beethoven, he paso doble’d to the composer’s Symphony No. 5, while members of MENSA in the audience shouted “Bill! Bill! Bill” (You had to be there.) So far this fall Dancing is averaging nearly 15 million viewers — up 12% compared to last fall — and a 2.7 rating in the demo, up 17%.
Based on preliminary stats, Good Morning America’s Wednesday announcement of the new Dancing With The Stars cast is on track to have scored the biggest morning infotainment-show audience this week – about 5.3 million viewers. Demo-wise, it’s the same story, only with 2.2 million viewers 25-54. Still, Wednesday’s Dancing cast reveal did not match the nearly 6 million who’d watched GMA unveil Dancing‘s most recent previous lineup, and ABC was trying hard to get the biggest crowd tune in possible as it looked to resuscitate the stumbled franchise. Maybe that’s why the network is said to be investigating who leaked so many of the names to TMZ in advance of Wednesday’s announcement, cutting at least 20% of the drama. Among the names TMZ spoiled was Valerie Harper, who was supposed to be the Big Surprise, what with her battling cancer that has moved to her brain, and Harper having said in January that doctors had given her three to six months to live. With Harper’s participation a foregone conclusion by the time of the Wednesday reveal — ditto multiple sclerosis patient Jack Osbourne, former The Talk co-host Leah Remini, Glee’s Amber Riley, and others — The Reporters Who Cover Television were left scrambling to name a “big surprise” in their coverage of Wednesday’s casting news. Several went with Bill Nye the Science Guy.