Various pop-culture figures are said to have signed on for the upcoming season of “Dancing With the Stars” ahead of the official cast announcement on March 8.
Jodie Sweetin of “Fuller House” will be one of the celebrities participating in the ABC reality competition, as will Ginger Zee of “Good Morning America,” “Facts of Life” actress Kim Fields, and “The O.C.” actress Mischa Barton, according to Entertainment Tonight.
Meanwhile, the Associated Press is reporting that Von Miller of the Denver Broncos will be appearing on the show also.
Julianne Hough of “Grease: Live” recently announced that she will not be appearing on the upcoming season of the show as a judge. Hough had previously been a professional dancer on the show and began serving as a judge in 2014.
“Dancing” remains an anchor of the lineup on ABC. What’s behind the show’s appeal? Megan Garber of The Atlantic writes that the show is “more earnest, more self-aware, more charming … the show really does do something unique – not just for reality TV, but for TV in general: It celebrates the merits of good, old-fashioned hard work.”
The show also has an element of familiarity in terms of who will appear on it, writes Emily Yahr of the Washington Post. “We couldn’t help but notice that the new contestants perfectly fit the profile of the 20 different types of celebrities… you see every season,” Yahr wrote following a cast announcement. Categories of celebrity that seem to pop up on every iteration of “Dancing” include “boy-band member … pop singer … social media sensation … [and] inspiring story,” writes Yahr.
“Dancing” has been a hit for ABC especially with older viewers, with the program ranking at number nine for the 2014-2015 TV season in total viewers.
But the program is much more popular with an older audience. In 2014, ABC seemed to be trying to bring in younger watchers – executive producer Conrad Green told the Hollywood Reporter, "The practical reality is that we have to keep engaging with a younger audience as well as our substantial older one." Changes included a use of more contemporary music and getting viewers more involved, having them have the last word on what dancers would be departing the show.
But the show actually went down in the rankings for viewers 18-49 the next year, with the show going from number 37 to number 41 for viewers 18-49 for the 2014-2015 TV season. The show's producers may have now decided to stick with the substantial viewership they already have.