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  • Writer's pictureKristyn Burtt

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

The question about dance TV shows and COVID-19 is one that is really hard to answer given the day-to-day nature of the pandemic and the varying guidelines in each country, state and city. Yet a new report about Strictly Come Dancing might offer a bit of insight. While the BBC has yet to confirm the news from The Daily Mail via The Daily Star, but if the network can get a fall season together, a few major elements will be missing: •No studio audience •No group dances •Blackpool weekend canceled

Dancing with the Stars fans should look at Strictly as a model for what could happen in the fall if ABC can work its magic to make a season happen. In the U.S., there are a few other issues that could be a sticking point for the season to return. While California is slowly easing its restrictions, Los Angeles County public health director Dr. Barbara Ferrer has extended the stay-at-home order for L.A. indefinitely. Is that one more month or five more months? That is a key piece to puzzle in getting production to resume. The other crucial aspect is that SAG-AFTRA, along with the other crew unions, will have to sign off on any health and safety precautions for the cast. Since dance is a contact sport, DWTS has a lot of challenges ahead.

More: Choreographers & Creatives Get Real About The Impact of COVID-19 If a fall season does happen for DWTS, the absence of a studio audience is almost certain. That was one of the first measures Hollywood took before the lockdown began — show after show canceled their in-studio audience. While it would be disappointing not to see big opening numbers this season, viewers would probably rather have a DWTS season rather than wait months or a year before they see the show again. It's also a sure bet that travel will be out of the question for pros and the contestants. The days of a pro flying all over the U.S. or overseas to ensure the talent are rehearsed are over. The talent will most likely have to stay local if a fall season gets locked into place.

DWTS fans will have to remain patient with ABC as they navigate uncharted territory and figure out a way to salvage a television season, while adhering to state and local ordinances, in addition to union requirements. It's not an easy path to take.


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