• Kristyn Burtt

The Changes That Are Coming To 'Dancing with the Stars' in Season 29

Updated: 5 days ago

Latest Article Updates: Aug. 5.

If you thought COVID-19 was going to be the only dramatic change to Dancing with the Stars, think again. In a blink of an eye, Season 29 will barely be recognizable to longtime viewers of the show. With so many changes happening in recent weeks, Dance Dish has compiled all of the information in one spot.

Be sure to bookmark this article because it will be updated as more news is revealed.

More: Does Possible 'Strictly' COVID-19 Restrictions Offer Insight Into 'Dancing with the Stars'?

1. COVID-19: What does that mean for the show? Peta Murgatroyd recently revealed that temperature checks, COVID-19 tests every few days and some type of quarantine for the cast will be in effect. The details were vague, but dance is a contact sport and production will have to be very careful in planning the season.

2. Premiere date: Thanks to COVID-19, there is currently no premiere date. It is on ABC's "fall" schedule, which means they hope to see the show begin anywhere from mid-September to early-October, according to ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke.

In an early August update, ET is reporting that the pros are expecting to start rehearsals next month. Producers hope to do the show live, but that could be taken off the table if it doesn't work with COVID-19 safety protocols. The pandemic is driving the story and the timetable on Season 29, which means plans are fluid.

3. Host: Well, this is where things really got interesting. ABC decided not to renew Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews' contracts. The loss of Bergeron, who has been there from the beginning, is a huge loss to the show. Will the viewers accept a new host in Tyra Banks? As of right now, the social media comments are brutal and even Season 19 winner and TV host Alfonso Ribeiro said he wouldn't have taken the job if it was offered to him because he understands the value of Bergeron to the show.

More: Tom Bergeron Was the Heart of 'Dancing With the Stars'

4. Executive producer: Banks is not only going to host the show by herself, but she's also an executive producer along with Andrew Llinares. Llinares has been an executive producer on DWTS since Season 26. The show has long-needed more diversity and this is where Banks could make some meaningful changes on and off-camera.

5. Judges: While this would have been a great area for DWTS to revamp after 28 seasons, Carrie Ann Inaba has stated on The Talk that all three judges are expected back for Season 29. Bruno Tonioli quarantine in Los Angeles, but Len Goodman is still in the U.K. Goodman should be able to get a business exemption to come to the U.S. to do the season, thereby avoiding the current travel ban. It wouldn't be a surprise if he was flying privately, given the fact that Goodman is 76 years old and in a high-risk age category for COVID-19.

More: Where Does 'DWTS' Star Witney Carson See Herself In 10 Years?

6. Pros: The pros have not been announced yet and the pros do not know their status for the season. We do know two of the female pros will be sitting Season 29 out for the most joyous reason ever. Witney Carson and Lindsay Arnold are both expecting babies; Carson is due in January 2021 and Arnold is due in November 2020. Congratulations!

7. Format: This aspect of Season 29 is the vaguest of them all. On Good Morning America in July, Banks promised "new flavor," "next level," "still keeping the stuff that we know America loves" yet "it's going to be different." We don't really know what that means at this point, but expect some bigger changes to DWTS.

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