Back in July, ABC made the shocking announcement that Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews would not be returning as hosts of Dancing With The Stars. Now a producer of the hit show is spilling the details on the shocking decision.
“I think it’s all about evolution. I think any show like this that has been on many, many seasons needs to continue to evolve,” executive producer Andrew Llinares told reporters during ABC’s VirtuFall panel on Wednesday, September 30. “I think changing the host was all about evolution, it was about making the show feel fresh, making it feel new and kind of make it reach out — maybe to a new audience as well, as well as the audience that’s been there for years.”
He also commented on the choice to switch out the two hosts format in favor of just one.
“I think it’s working brilliantly with the one host. I think it’s really refreshed the pace of the show, actually,” Llinares told reporters. “I think it’s taken it to a new pace, in terms of moving faster and just feeling different. I think there’s a real danger when a show’s been on for a long time that the audience almost gets bored of the rhythm. It doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with it. It just sort of gets a little boring — the rhythm of it. So, I think it’s changed the rhythm of the show in a really exciting way.”
“Tyra is doing an amazing, amazing job. It’s just so wonderful to have her energy in the ballroom and her expertise as a host in the ballroom," he added. "I think she’s brought a new life to everything. It’s really exciting.”
Bergeron, who had hosted the competition series since its 2005 debut, tweeted over the summer that he would not be returning.
“Just informed @DancingABC will be continuing without me,” the 65-year-old wrote at the time. “It’s been an incredible 15 year run and the most unexpected gift of my career.”
Andrews later admitted she initially did not take the news of her firing well.
“I didn’t have much time to deal with it. I got a phone call — we were on the putting green with my dog and my husband — and I got a call that said, ‘You know, so-and-so from ABC wants to talk to you,’ and I was like, ‘Oh, s**t,’ like, this is it,” she recalled on the September 14 episode of the Token CEO podcast. “I felt sorry for myself, and I kind of was like, ‘This is a terrible time to lose my job,’ because we don’t know when live television is coming back. These are hard jobs to get. I was like, ‘Oh no, I’m a loser, this is really bad,’ and then you just start talking to other people from other networks and people that have production groups and they’re like, ‘You’re gonna find something.’ … Yeah, it was a super big bummer.”
As disappointing as the news was, the famed sportscaster said the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic helped the 42-year-old put things in perspective.
“These are the things people go through in their life. Right? And I did remind myself, by the way, there’s people that have such worse stuff going on right now,” she explained. “I mean, give me a break, for me to be that selfish and think, ‘Oh, my God, the world’s ending.’ People have lost multiple people in their families because of COVID.”