Remember when ABC announced a Junior version of Dancing with the Stars that was supposed to air this spring? Instead, the network decided to produce a four week long all-athletes version of the show instead. Contestants from the world of sports have traditionally been popular contestants on the show. Producers were smart to change the format.
However, at the recent Television Critics Association tour, ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey claims that the decision to go with athletes instead of kiddos for Spring 2018 had to do with logistics:
“We were in the early stages of talent search for Dancing Junior and it wasn’t going to come together as quickly as we would have liked,” she said. “We’d been talking for awhile about trying to do an all-sports edition, but the problem is that athletes have such tight schedules it’s hard to do a whole 13-week run. This actually slotted in perfectly, so we’re going to try that and see how it goes.”
As for Dancing with the Stars Junior, it’s still in development, but no timeframe has been set.
With DWTS airing a short season with niche appeal this spring, the fall cycle will surely be the DWTS we’re used to–a full season starring adult celebrities from across the spectrum. If a season of Dance Junior does happen, I wouldn’t expect it until next spring–alongside American Idol. That is IF the Idol reboot brings in ratings high enough to warrant another season on ABC…