• Kristyn Burtt

After 16 Seasons, 'So You Think You Can Dance' Takes A Bow... For Now

Updated: Jun 19


Photo credit: FOX.

UPDATE: A petition has been started to save the show for 2021. Sign here and share it! Remember to tag @FoxTV and @danceonfox.


The news came down as I was on my Tuesday evening walk. After a day spent on Zoom, the fresh air felt good on my skin. Then my phone started buzzing non-stop. And my heart skipped a beat. The message read... So You Think You Can Dance was canceled.


An email from executive producer and judge Nigel Lythgoe confirmed the sad news. After 16 seasons, the show wasn't just postponed due to COVID-19, it was completely canceled.


The crew at SYTYCD did everything they could to keep Season 17 alive even though a pandemic ripped through their usual show plans. Lythgoe shared there were many conversations about keeping the show alive this summer.


"After numerous discussions and exceptionally creative ideas to keep the production on track during this COVID-19 pandemic," Lythgoe wrote. "FOX decided to cancel So You Think You Can Dance Season 17."

Jenna Johnson, Jake Monreal, Tate Mcrae and Kathryn McCormick.

The guidelines from Los Angeles County and the unions had been handed down in the last few weeks, but the safety protocols make it challenging to keep the dance show on the air. The show shut down production after the network made its decision.


Lythgoe also made it clear in the letter that the move was a cancellation and not a postponement for Season 17.


"It is obviously a bittersweet moment today to say goodbye to a show that just brought so much joy to such a vast audience," he said.


He went on to mention how the show broke ground on many social issues through the art of dance. Choreographers like Mia Michaels, Travis Wall and Tyce Diorio tackled topics like gun control, homophobia, racism, cancer and drug addiction and delivered the message in a way audiences had never seen before.


The Hollywood Reporter noted that FOX will consider the show for summer of 2021, so the news seems a bit more optimistic than Lythgoe's email. Let's hope that statement remains true next year.


The show has been my happy bubble, my summer dance camp and a place I called home for a few months each year. The cast and crew always welcomed me with open arms and answered my constant stream of questions. Travis Wall was always the first one to visit the "office" I established outside the press room. I stood in a corner pretending to be on my iPhone until he visited to tell me about how the week went.

I took countless group photos of the choreographers, who were working that week, as they lumped together by the step and repeat. I grabbed snacks from craft services and I took photos with props the cast used in the show after most of the other press members left to go home. I always wanted to stay as long as I could.


To the dancers who dropped into my DMs to let me know they were auditioning each year. To the parents who befriended me as I sat near them each week while they nervously cheered on their kid. To the choreographers who consistently stopped by the press line to share their stories. To the judges who gave their honest opinions on and off-camera. To the publicists who always said "yes" to all of my crazy requests, after-hours texts and out-of-the-blue emails. To Jeff Thacker who loves his SYTYCD family and let me be a small part of it. To Nigel Lythgoe who always gave good spoilers and who always made me feel like a part of the show. THANK YOU for the once-in-a-lifetime memories. It was an honor to share your stories... and I hope to do it again next summer.

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