‘Dancing with the Stars’ Season 28 finally has a premiere date, and it’s sooner than you think

Mark your calendars, “Dancing with the Stars” fans! Season 28 will premiere on Monday, Sept. 16 at 8/7c, ABC announced Tuesday.

The premiere is a week before the official start of the broadcast season, so the show will have a head start, so to speak (the rest of ABC’s fall shows are premiering the following week, including “Dancing’s” lead-out “The Good Doctor”). The last time “Dancing” launched a week before the standard broadcast kickoff was Season 25 in 2017.

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As previously announced, Season 28 will retain its two-hour slot on Mondays at 8. Season 28 will mark the show’s long-awaited return to TV screens since the polarizing 27th installment that ended with Bobby Bones winning. “Dancing” sat out the spring season for the first time since 2007.

In May, ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke teased there’d be “fun format changes” next season. The following month, host Tom Bergeron assured fans that they were being heard, suggesting that those changes might be related to the voting system. Bones, who by his own admission was not a good dancer, was powered to victory last season on the strength of his massive fan base, prompting many viewers, including former champ Alfonso Ribeiro, to call for a change.

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The cast will be announced later this summer, but a handful of people have already expressed interest, including Jennifer Love Hewitt. Burke also said in May that the long hiatus has allowed producers to seek bigger names to hit the hardwood. “Resting the show does help us really, really focus on talent and … help us go after talent,” Burke said. “We’re going after bigger stars than we have in a long time.”

“Dancing with the Stars” will return Monday, Sept. 16 at 8/7c on ABC.

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