Another “Glee” star, Heather Morris, has joined the cast of the ABC reality competition “Dancing With the Stars” in what may be an attempt to draw younger viewers, as the show succeeds with drawing viewers overall but struggles to bring in those under 50.
Ms. Morris, who starred as Brittany S. Pierce on the Fox musical hit “Glee,” is one of the celebrity cast members who have joined the season 24 cast of “Dancing.” She will compete with dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy.
In addition, Olympic gymnast Simone Biles will dance with Sasha Farber, professional bull rider Bonner Bolton will dance with Sharna Burgess, singer Charo will dance with Keo Motsepe, reality star Erika Jayne will dance with Gleb Savchenko, football player Rashad Jennings will dance with Emma Slater, comedian Chris Kattan will dance with Witney Carson, Olympic ice skater Nancy Kerrigan will dance with Artem Chigvintsev, Nick Viall of “The Bachelor” will dance with Peta Murgatroyd, actor Mr. T will dance with Kym Johnson, Fifth Harmony singer Normani Kordei will dance with Val Chmerkovskiy, and baseball player David Ross will dance with Lindsay Arnold.
Morris is the latest “Glee” star to appear on “DWTS,” as co-star Amber Riley (who played Mercedes Jones) won the competition in 2013, and “Glee” actor Riker Lynch (who played Jeff, one of the Warblers) appeared on the show in 2015.
Bringing on the actress could be an attempt to bring in younger viewers to “DWTS,” as in its heyday, “Glee” was a hit with young watchers, which is a demographic valued by advertisers.
However, the show later fell in the ratings among younger and total viewers, with a February 2015 episode bringing in the least amount of viewers 18-49 of any major broadcast network show in that time slot.
Why the push for younger viewers? In the 2015-2016 season, "DWTS" succeeded with older viewers but struggled with those 18-49, with the program ranked number eight for the season among total viewers but coming in at number 42 for viewers 18-49.
But bringing in "Glee" stars may not be enough to draw younger viewers, who may have different priorities for their entertainment options. According to a 2016 study by the company Defy Media, consumers 13-24 watched more than 12 hours of video a week on YouTube, social media, and other free online services and almost 9 hours weekly on Netflix or other online services that charge. Meanwhile, they spent a little more than 8 hours on television.