EXCLUSIVE: It’s the end of an era at ABC’s Dancing With The Stars. Conrad Green, who has been executive producer/showrunner of the veteran reality series since its launch, will depart after the end of the current 18th season. He is leaving to join Fox‘s upcoming Utopia as executive producer. Also joining the upcoming social experiment reality series as executive producer is Jon Kroll (Big Brother, The Amazing Race). Green was part of the original BBC Worldwide Prods. team of Dancing that pitched the format to ABC. His nine-year, 18-cycle stint will come to an end at the May 20 season finale. “I’m enormously proud of everything we’ve achieved on Dancing With The Stars,” he told Deadline. “This has been the job of a lifetime and I’m thankful for every performance, every dancer and every colleague I’ve worked with over the years, and to ABC and BBC Worldwide Prods. for these past eighteen seasons. What was once a small dancing show has thrived and become a cultural phenomenon. But after almost 10 years, the opportunity to take on a project with the immense potential of Utopia was simply too good to pass up. The ambition and scale of the challenge is thrilling. I’ll miss everyone I’ve worked with on Dancing With the Stars and look forward to this next exciting chapter.”
Gold Medal Ice Dancers Meryl Davis And Charlie White Headline ‘Dancing With The Stars’ Cast Heavy On Athletes: Video
Fresh off their gold-medal win at the Sochi Olympics, ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White will headline the all-star lineup of ABC‘s competition series Dancing With The Stars when it returns for its 18th season – part of a celebrity lineup that’s heavy on athletes. Davis and White, who have been skating partners since 1997, will compete against each other on Dancing. They’ll be joined by double-amputee snowboarding champ Amy Purdy – a world-champion adaptive snowboarder and the show’s first Paralympian to compete. And, Sean Avery will be the first former hockey player in Dancing history. Also in this year’s celebrity cast: swimmer Diana Nyad, who became the first person to complete a historic 110-mile swim from Cuba to Key West in September of 2013 on her fifth attempt.
Joining the athletes in the battle for the mirrorball trophy: The Wonder Years star Danica McKellar, comedian turned game show host Drew Carey, actor Billy Dee Williams, former Full House actress Candace Cameron Bure, Real Housewives reality star NeNe Leakes, Australian pop singer Cody Simpson, and Big Time Rush actor-singer James Maslow.
The Season 7 winner and longtime host got news of her own elimination from ABC’s Dancing With The Stars Friday. “Weird day….Shocking pre-season elimination #DWTS… ME. @Tom_Bergeron didn’t even read my name. I won’t be returning to the …
Bill Nye the Science Guy, whose fan-fave-dom is helping ABC resuscitate ratings on its Dancing With The Stars franchise, got the hook last night, which may spell trouble for the competition series as it works its way back up in the ratings. Nye’s ouster triggered viewer complaints online that the now-one-night-a-week show’s new system of voting — previous week’s viewer vote lumped with current performance judges’ votes — caused Nye to be booted unfairly. On the other hand, Nye danced mostly from the waist up last night, performing with a pretty serious leg injury after tripping at the end of last week’s dance. The judges last night acknowledged Nye’s dance was unconventional, that he had danced with a fairly serious injury, complimented Nye and partner for choreographing around the injury, said they admired him for performing at all, that their scores did not reflect their admiration of him for what he had done — and then they nuked him. This prompted Tom Bergeron — best reality TV host no matter what the TV Academy says on Emmy night — to ask Nye why the judges’ votes shouldn’t reflect their admiration of Nye, speaking for viewers everywhere. On the other hand, Nye couldn’t dance from the waist up every week, or the other competitors also would have to be judged from the waist up — so maybe this was the Dancing With The Stars equivalent of putting down a much loved but terminally ill family pet. Anyway, before last night’s Nye nuking, Dancing averaging nearly 15 million viewers this season — up 12% compared to last fall — and a 2.7 rating in the demo, which is up 17%. Watch Nye’s performance:
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%.
Thomas Dekker Moves To Resolution; CAA Signs Brooke Burke-Charvet; ‘Graceland’ Director Ron Morales To APA
Actor Thomas Dekker (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Nightmare On Elm Street) has signed with Resolution. He previously was a client of WME. The 25-year-old most recently graced TV screens on The CW’s The Secret Circle and HBO’s Cinema Verite with James Gandolfini. His indie film streak of late includes Gregg Araki’s Kaboom, Catherine Hardwick’s Plush, and The White City. Dekker is also repped by The Schiff Co and Sloane, Offer, Weber & Dern.
Onetime Dancing With The Stars contestant-turned-DWTS co-host Brooke Burke-Charvet has signed with CAA. She’s going into her seventh season co-hosting the ABC show, which she won in season 7. Burke-Charvet continues to be managed by Bx2 Management and Del, Shaw, Moonves, Tanaka, Finkelstein & Lezcano.
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.
‘Dancing With The Stars’ Cast: Valerie Harper, Leah Remini, Jack Osbourne, Bill Nye Among Competitors
From the brave to the blah, Mary Tyler Moore Show/Rhoda actress Valerie Harper and a mess of Disney alums were this morning revealed on the next round of ABC’s struggling dance competition series Dancing With The Stars. Harper was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in January and given three to six months to live but is now said to be “nearing remission,” as she and her doctor explained it to NBC’s Today recently while plugging Valerie’s Story — A Meredith Vieira Special, set to air September 19 on that network. Speaking of NBC, Sharon Osbourne’s son Jack — who was yanked from a reality competition series on that network when he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis — is joining Harper on Dancing. His sister Kelly was a finalist on the show in 2009.
Many of the celeb dancers’ names had been leaked before this morning’s reveal on ABC’s morning infotainment show Good Morning America. Bill Nye the Science Guy was in none of those reports and he’s maybe the morning’s biggest surprise. Not at all surprising was Leah Remini, whose name was first leaked. Remini, maybe best known for starring in CBS’ sitcom King Of Queens has more recently been making headlines for her exit from Scientology. She appeared on this morning’s reveal via satellite, looking very subdued. Glee’s Amber Riley, no longer a regular on that Fox series, is looking for her next career move on Dancing; ditto Jersey Shore alum Snooki and The Voice social media correspondent Christina Milian. Ironically, it’s The Voice’s move to Dancing’s time slot that’s been giving it such a ratings headache the past several seasons.
ABC needs to get two things right this fall: 1) Launch Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.; 2) Relaunch Dancing With The Stars. The first one looks to be a slam dunk, given the anticipatory gushing over the series, and creator Joss Whedon, going on in the press and on fan sites. The second, however, is far from a sure thing — especially after the last fall’s disastrous all-star edition.
The veteran dance competition lives or dies based on its celebrity casting, and the producers botched it pretty thoroughly in both editions last season. Ratings plunged to an all-time low as the show competed against NBC’s The Voice for the first time in the fall with the all-star edition. Turned out, ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee acknowledged recently, viewers don’t want to see celebrities who can dance well competing — they want to see celebrities who can’t dance well, learning their right foot from their left. This had escaped the network and producers until it was too late. Any hope of real recovering in the spring edition fell flat with that edition’s limp cast. Andy Dick — really? Not surprisingly, the reality series only climbed back up to its second-worst numbers ever, though, yes, up is up.