“Dancing With The Stars” showrunner Andrew Llinares has finally shed some light on the show’s controversial decision to replace long-running host Tom Bergeron and co-presenter Erin Andrews with model Tyra Banks for its latest season.
“It’s about evolution,” explained Llinares as part of a virtual ABC press tour, according to Deadline. “When a show has been on for this many seasons, it’s very easy to stay in a place where there’s nothing wrong but actually does the show feel fresh, exciting and new? It’s tough. I’ve worked on many shows of this type and we’ve always been at our most successful when we continue to move things on.”
“DWTS” execs hoped that the new changes would make the show appeal to a younger audience.
Llinares continued, “We wanted to make the show feel relevant, but still hold on to the heart of the show. You can make very significant changes as long as the format stays true. The changes hopefully make the show feel like it speaks to a younger audience, broader audience while not alienating anyone who has been watching the show for many many years. That’s been the challenge.”
This current season of the show has attracted its highest number of viewers in three years.
Meanwhile, casting director and co-exec producer Deena Katz opened up on their decision to cast “Tiger King” star Carole Baskin in this year’s series.
“There have been question marks as to the way that Baskin, who was eliminated earlier this week, has run her Big Cat Rescue facility as well as the mystery of the disappearance of her former husband,” she said. “People were fascinated with ‘Tiger King’. When I first started talking to Carol, there’s this lovely side to her, she wanted to come on the show and talk about the things she does, how she saves the big cats. She wanted the freedom to dance and enjoy herself. We’re not diving into the other stuff, that’s not what our show is.”