Major Format Change to Shake Up ‘Dancing with the Stars’ Next Season

"Dancing with the Stars" (Photo: ABC)

Dancing with the Stars” has been down-sized.

ABC is condensing “Dancing” into a once-a-week format beginning next season, the network announced Tuesday during its Upfronts presentation to advertisers in New York City.

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“DWTS” will now air from 8 to 10 p.m. EST on Monday nights, integrating the performance show and results show into one episode each week. Check Out ABC’s Just-Unveiled New Fall Schedule Below.

The decision is likely a response to ratings fatigue, as “DWTS” has been on a decline in viewership, just like its rival aging reality show, “American Idol.” While both are still top-rated shows, neither of them are the juggernauts they once were — Monday night’s performance episode of “DWTS” averaged 12.2 million total viewers, with a 8.1/13 rating in households.

Cutting down on “DWTS” also opens up the Tuesdays at 9 p.m. real estate for ABC, and they apparently need it: It was just announced that ABC is adding 14 new series next season.

The format change signals a significant reversal in the current programming trend of “super-sizing” reality show formats (stretching them out and airing them over two and three nights) — a move that ultimately over-saturates the market and exhausts viewers via demands for stronger viewer commitment to a series.

It has been speculated over the last couple of seasons that ABC was contemplating making a major change to “DWTS,” although the leading rumor was that the dance competition would be reduced from airing two editions a year (spring and fall) to just once a year (similar to “Idol”). But instead of cutting the number of editions, the network is slashing the number of episodes per season.

“Dancing’s” final four contestants will be determined on Tuesday night’s “DWTS” results show, airing at 9/8c on ABC, as one last celeb is eliminated before next week’s Season 16 finale, where the next Mirror Ball Trophy winner will be revealed.

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Here is ABC’s Full Fall Schedule, per the ABC press release:

8:00 p.m. “Dancing with the Stars”
10:00 p.m. “Castle”

8:00 p.m. “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” (New Series)
9:00 p.m. “The Goldbergs” (New Series)
9:30 p.m. “Trophy Wife” (New Series)
10:00 p.m. “Lucky 7” (New Series)

8:00 p.m. “The Middle”
8:30 p.m. “Back in the Game” (New Series)
9:00 p.m. “Modern Family”
9:30 p.m. “Super Fun Night” (New Series)
10:00 p.m. “Nashville”

8:00 p.m. “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland” (New Series)
9:00 p.m. “Grey’s Anatomy”
10:00 p.m. “Scandal”

8:00 p.m. “Last Man Standing”
8:30 p.m. “The Neighbors”
9:00 p.m. “Shark Tank”
10:00 p.m. “20/20”

8:00 p.m. “Saturday Night College Football”

7:00 p.m. “America’s Funniest Home Videos”
8:00 p.m. “Once Upon a Time”
9:00 p.m. “Revenge”
10:00 p.m. “Betrayal” (New Series)

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.


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