It’s official: “Dancing with the Stars” won’t return in the spring. ABC announced its midseason premiere dates on Wednesday, and “Dancing” is AWOL from the schedule.
This is not surprising at all, since Tom Bergeron tweeted last month that he doubts the show would be back for it usual spring installment. The host also shared that ABC had only cleared him and Erin Andrews to sign off the Season 27 finale with the vague “See you next year.” Chances are “Dancing” will return in fall 2019, though it hasn’t officially been renewed for a 28th season yet. (There is no word on the fate of “Dancing with the Stars: Juniors.”)
2019 will mark the first time “Dancing” airs just once in the calendar year since its debut season in the summer of 2005. It has aired two seasons a year since then, with the spring-fall rotation starting with Season 4 in March 2007.
This past spring, ABC tried out a four-week “Athletes” season to accommodate its acquisition of “American Idol,” but many people — including Bergeron — weren’t fans of the truncated run that featured multiple eliminations every week and gave no time for contestants to improve or build fan support. “Don’t think you’ll ever see a 4 week season again,” Bergeron tweeted in May. “Eliminating half the cast in one fell swoop is something I hope I never have to do again.”
A lengthy sabbatical is probably what “Dancing” needs right now after a controversial and frustrating 27th season for fans, who were outraged when Bobby Bones, an OK hoofer at best, won the Mirrorball trophy over far superior dancers, some of whom were axed before the finale. Even former champ Alfonso Ribeiro was not pleased with results and called for a change to the voting system (hey, so did we!). A breather after back-to-back subpar seasons is probably for the best.
So, “Dancing” TPTB, take advantage of this time off. Clear your head. Enjoy the holidays. Start a clean slate and come back strong in the fall with some new ideas.