Drama at 'Dancing With the Stars': Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews out as show heads in 'a new creative direction'

Dancing With the Stars was already going to look a little different next season, with the coronavirus likely to have kept the show from its traditional filming style in front of a live studio audience, but now it will also be without hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews.

“Tom Bergeron will forever be part of the Dancing With the Stars family,” network ABC and producer BBC Studios said in a joint statement Monday. “As we embark on a new creative direction, he departs the show with our sincerest thanks and gratitude for his trademark wit and charm that helped make this show a success.”

The statement noted another casting change, too: “Erin will also not be returning, and we appreciate all that she brought to the ballroom. Fans have been rooting for her since she originally competed as a contestant back in 2010, and her signature sense of humor has become a hallmark of the show.”

Bergeron had been with the show since it began in 2005. He announced he would be leaving even before the network released its official statement.

Andrews released her own statement the following day.

While Andrews competed as a contestant in 2010, she became a permanent part of the cast in 2014.

Reps for ABC, Bergeron and Andrews did not respond to Yahoo Entertainment’s request for further comments.

Dancing With the Stars has faced declining ratings in the past few years, as audiences have migrated beyond the traditional networks. Its last episode, the Season 28 finale that aired in November, had the smallest-ever TV audience for a Dancing season-ender. An estimated 7.7 million people tuned in, according to The Wrap.

Still, the reality competition has continued to generate interest, though not all of it positive. For instance, in August, Bergeron himself spoke out against the casting of Sean Spicer, a former White House Press Secretary under President Trump. There also have been alleged feuds between contestants and their professional dance coaches and amongst the judges.

The show is scheduled to return to the TV schedule in the fall, although it’s unclear just how it will overcome the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke told Deadline that BBC Studios has learned from its work in other countries.

“I have seen the presentation from the Dancing With the Stars producers on how we are planning to produce this show, post-COVID and with the health regulations in place because they have the advantage of making it in other territories and I am blown away by the ingenuity and the care which they are producing it,” Burke said. “We are bringing all of those innovations to the American broadcast. I’m really confident in their plan.”

While we know Kaitlyn Bristowe, a former star of The Bachelorette, will be a contestant on the upcoming season of the show, no other specifics have been announced.

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