Decision makers at Dancing with the Stars should be paying the price for awful decisions they’ve made the last couple years, but instead, Tom Bergeron’s dancing days are over.
The longtime and original host of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars revealed today that the veteran reality competition series will be continuing without him when it returns for its 29th season.
Co-host Erin Andrews, who has been with the series since 2014, is also not returning.
“Just informed @DancingABC will be continuing without me. It’s been an incredible 15 year run and the most unexpected gift of my career. I’m grateful for that and for the lifelong friendships made. That said, now what am I supposed to do with all of these glitter masks?” wrote Bergeron.
Just informed @DancingABC will be continuing without me. It’s been an incredible 15 year run and the most unexpected gift of my career. I’m grateful for that and for the lifelong friendships made. That said, now what am I supposed to do with all of these glitter masks?
— Tom Bergeron (@Tom_Bergeron) July 13, 2020
ABC and producers BBC Studios confirmed both Bergeron and Andrews’ departure with a joint statement Monday: “Tom Bergeron will forever be part of the Dancing with the Stars family. As we embark on a new creative direction, he departs the show with our sincerest thanks and gratitude for his trademark wit and charm that helped make this show a success. Erin will also not be returning, and we appreciate all that she brought to the ballroom. Fans have been rooting for her since she originally competed as a contestant back in 2010, and her signature sense of humor has become a hallmark of the show.”
In other words, the hosts are paying the price for the awful decision making by executives and producers.
The 28th season finale settled for a new low in total viewers among the show’s previous finales.
Additionally, it tied with the last two “DWTS” season finales for the show’s lowest-rated finale to-date among the key adults 18-49 demo, with a 1.1 rating.
Producers had an entire year to recover from 2018’s debacle where syndicated radio host Bobby Bones, and his pro partner Sharna Burgess, won after he promoted the voting every day on the radio.
The “people’s champion” couldn’t dance, but he was great at stacking the votes.
[READ: Dancing With The Stars Hits Rock Bottom – People’s Champ Proves It’s Time For Drastic Action]
In response to that season, Sean Spicer, the pro-Trump mouthpiece was brought in against the advice of about everyone, including Bergeron.
He tweeted at the time: “A few months ago, during a lunch with DWTS’ new executive producer [Andrew Llinares], I offered suggestions for season 28,” Bergeron wrote. “Chief among them was my hope that DWTS, in its return following an unprecedented year-long hiatus, would be a joyful respite from our exhausting political climate and free of inevitably divisive bookings from ANY party affiliations. I left that lunch convinced we were in agreement. Subsequently (and rather obviously), a decision was made to, as we often say in Hollywood, ‘go in a different direction.'”
Producers never forget that Tom had gone public, saying what everyone else in America was talking about at home.
The tragic thing in all of this is that firing the hosts doesn’t solve the critical problems facing DWTS.
First is the voting, where the western half of the country cannot participate because viewers do not see the show live.
This is fundamentally unfair, especially for contestants who may have a west coast based fan base, and a big question for the network.
Second, the show must figure out whether politically divisive figures, like Spicer, are really good for ratings and the brand.
Spicer, using his right-wing contacts, managed to stick around far too long when it was apparent to everyone he couldn’t dance.
Ratings after his elimination went up 25 percent the following week, proving that his divisiveness was not healthy for the program.
Third, the show appears to be scraping the bottom of the bucket in finding B-rated celebrities for the competition.
Having an ABC reality TV star win an ABC reality TV dancing show is probably the reason for the record low ratings.
Bergeron had a long history with ABC, having also hosted the network’s America’s Funniest Home Videos for 15 seasons.
He won an Emmy in 2012 for hosting Dancing, and he deserves better.
Dancing is on ABC’s “fall” schedule, though it’s unclear when the new season will launch as several hurdles remain before production amid the novel coronavirus pandemic can truly begin.