ABC is trying to figure out what to do about “Dancing with the Stars” after the latest edition of the show took a pounding in the ratings, the New York Post reports.
For a start, the network may cut back to airing one season of the dance competition per year, placing it on the network’s spring schedule, the story reports.
The series struggled in the ratings during the "All Star" season, which ended last month. The finale drew 16.7 million viewers, down by nearly 3 million viewers from a year earlier.
The season’s total viewership was down by about 20%, the piece adds. "DWTS" is scheduled to return to the network March 18.
”We haven’t made a decision about fall yet, but we have no indication that it won’t be on the schedule,” an ABC spokeswoman said.
A source involved with production on the show told the publication: “They have to figure something out. Maybe change the judges. The show needs a total makeover.”
Disney CFO Jay Rasulo talked about the show during a financial conference this week in New York, admitting that bringing back past champions — including Shawn Johnson, Emmitt Smith and Drew Lachey — seemed like “a great idea” at the time. “Turns out people didn’t want to see people who could dance,” Rasulo added. “They wanted people who couldn’t dance.”
The format has remained relatively stable throughout the show’s seven and a half years, the piece notes. “But lately, the show appears to be headed toward an inevitable changing of the guard. In September, longtime pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy announced that he will not return after his contract expires in 2013.
“Cheryl Burke also told The Post that she may take time off to pursue reality TV.”
Executive producer Conrad Green told the publication: “I would say making this show is more like surfing. Everyone thinks you are a puppet master. But actually what you do is you follow the wave, rather than set the wave."