With Iman Shumpert’s win behind us, Dancing with the Stars is looking ahead to Season 31. ABC officially renewed the long-running series for not just one but two more seasons, with the shocking announcement that the network’s most dependable reality series is moving to streaming.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Seasons 31 and 32 will officially premiere on Disney+ as the streamer’s first-ever live series. Kareem Daniel, chairman of Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution cited “the show’s broad appeal, as well as the overwhelming popularity of its Disney-themed competition nights” as the primary synergistic reasons for shifting the show to streaming. Though, Disney’s decision to simulcast ESPN’s Monday Night Football broadcast on ABC likely played a part in the schedule change.
DWTS has produced more seasons than almost any other unscripted broadcast network show, behind only CBS’ Survivor and The Amazing Race. Though Season 30 did hit an all-time low in viewership numbers, many broadcast shows have experienced dips in rating as streaming options grow. DWTS still drew in more than four million weekly viewers and remains one of ABC’S top-rated programs. “This has been a testing year certainly with the audience numbers and the fan reactions, but day to day there is a stance of carrying on with the show, making the contestants have their best experiences and not worrying about the numbers,” an unnamed insider told The Sun. With the move to streaming, it remains to be seen how the live numbers will fare for Season 31.
Here’s everything else we know about DWTS Season 31 so far.
The DWTS Season 31 Premiere Date
Though DWTS used to air two seasons per year, ABC stopped producing the spring installment in 2019. The most recent four seasons aired from around mid-September to late November, so fans can likely expect DWTS Season 31 to premiere in September 2022.
The DWTS Season 31 Cast
ABC has yet to reveal the cast and probably won’t for several months, as the network typically doesn’t announce which celebrities will be competing until a few weeks before the new season airs. However, several pro dancers have hinted about their futures on the show.
While competing with Olivia Jade, DWTS veteran Val Chmerkovskiy teased to Entertainment Tonight that Season 30 will be his last. “Is this my last season?” he said. “Probably. I have no regrets about my tenure on the show. I have no regrets about the season. I couldn't have asked for a better partner to end it with.”
Chmerkovskiy’s wife Jenna Johnson told ET that she’ll “for sure” be back in the ballroom, though she hopes her husband will return too. “I hope it's not [the end]. ... I think that there is a lot more that we haven’t seen from him that I would love to see,” she said. “I’m not done dancing with my hubby on that floor yet.”
Fellow pro Cheryl Burke also said on the Tamron Hall Show in September that she might hang up her dancing shoes. “I’ve come to the point now where I'm 37 years old, and it's like OK, I’m starting to be like, ‘What's the next chapter?’’ she explained, adding that dancing has put such a strain on her body that she has “pounding” arthritis.
And Witney Carson, too, has expressed uncertainty about returning to the series. “I don’t know [about coming back], we’ll have to see. I don’t know what my plan is, like if I’m gonna be pregnant,” Carson, who welcomed son Leo in January, said on Burke’s Pretty Messed Up podcast. “Right now, I feel like I could have another one [right away] because Leo is so easy. He’s so fun right now, he’s just really fun, he’s at such a fun age. But I’m worried for when he turns 2. I’ve heard that’s terrible. I might not be ready for [another one] quite yet.”
This post will be updated as more information becomes available.
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