Double dose of ‘Dancing with the Stars’ this fall: ‘DWTS: Junior’ launches, plus season 27 of the original series

This spring “Dancing with the Stars” fans have had to settle for less: a mini-season lasting only four weeks featuring an all-athlete roster of celebrities. That event comes to an end on May 21, but if viewers are feeling shortchanged by the drastically shortened competition, ABC is making it up to them this fall. Instead of getting half as much “DWTS” as we were expecting, we’re about to get twice as much. “DWTS” returns for season 27 in its usual Monday night time slot. And the long-awaited “Junior” edition of the series finally gets underway, airing on Sunday nights.

“DWTS: Junior” will be a slightly different format from the original recipe. It will run for a full season of 10 weeks, but episodes will be an hour long, instead of two hours like the flagship series. And to accommodate the schedules of its younger contestants it will be pre-taped, whereas the flagship airs live.

But just how young will the “Junior” celebs be? The original “DWTS” has welcomed a number of teenage contestants, like Bindi Irwin, who won season 21 when she was 17 years old, and Laurie Hernandez, who won season 23 when she was 16, which made her the youngest champ in the show’s history. The youngest celeb ever to compete on the show was “Hunger Games” actress Willow Shields, who was just 14 when she entered the ballroom in season 20. The youngest male contestant of all time was social media star Hayes Grier, who was 15 when he competed in season 21.

Are you looking forward to the double dose of “Dancing” this fall? And what child stars do you think should join the cast?

Be sure to make your predictions so that the contestants can see how they’re faring in our racetrack odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before the next episode airs every Monday on ABC. You’ll compete to win a spot on our leaderboard and eternal bragging rights. See our contest rules and sound off with other fans in our reality TV forum. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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