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Dancing With the Stars, a longtime anchor of ABC’s schedule, is moving to streaming.
The series, which debuted on ABC in 2005, will jump to Disney+ in the fall. The move comes in conjunction with a two-season renewal that will take DWTS through a 32nd cycle.
The switch was prompted in part by ABC’s plans to simulcast several games on ESPN’s Monday Night Football slate in the fall. The broadcaster will also have an exclusive Monday Night Football contest at some point in the NFL season. Dancing With the Stars will also become the first live series on Disney+.
“Dancing With the Stars has entertained fans for 16 years on ABC, and we are excited to bring this beloved show exclusively to Disney+ as the platform’s first-ever live series,” said Kareem Daniel, chairman Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution. “The show’s broad appeal, as well as the overwhelming popularity of its Disney-themed competition nights, make Disney+ the perfect home for Dancing With the Stars while continuing to expand our demographic reach.”
Dancing With the Stars was an out-of-the-box hit for ABC and at its peak drew as many as 20 million viewers per week. As has been the case with virtually all broadcast entertainment series, the show’s audience has declined sizably over the past few years, but it has remained a reliable performer. The 30th season averaged 6.07 million viewers (including a week of delayed viewing) in the fall, putting it in the top half of ABC’s offerings this season.
“Dancing With the Stars has been a beloved staple on ABC for 30 seasons and brought so much joy to millions of viewers,” said Walt Disney Television entertainment chairman Dana Walden. “As we’re significantly expanding our unscripted slate at ABC, this is a great opportunity to introduce this show to a whole new generation of fans on Disney+. We’re so grateful to our incredible partners at BBC Studios and look forward to continuing our relationship with them on this spectacular series, which will continue to be overseen by Rob Mills and the talented Walt Disney Television Alternative team.”
Past seasons of Dancing With the Stars have streamed on Hulu (as is the case with other ABC programming) after their broadcast airing, though the show’s past seasons aren’t available there.
BBC Studios’ Los Angeles production arm produces Dancing With the Stars, which is based on the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing. Episodes have aired live in the Eastern and Central time zones on ABC, with viewers voting on which performers stay in the competition and results announced a week later.
“The fact that our iconic global format Dancing With the Stars will now set the record as the first live series on Disney+ represents a major growth opportunity and a bold next step forward in the evolution of the franchise,” said Valerie Bruce, general manager of BBC Studios, Los Angeles Productions. “This unprecedented move, combined with our two-season pickup, is a testament to the proven power of Dancing With the Stars and a resounding vote of confidence from our great, supportive partners at Disney, showing how much they value and believe in the brand.”
ABC has leaned into game shows in recent years and has run fall installments of The Bachelorette in each of the past two seasons in addition to the show’s usual summer run. How the network will fill the two-hour hole on Mondays in the fall remains to be seen.
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