Dancing With the Stars Cast Includes Valerie Harper, Glee Vet, Showgirls Star and... Bill Nye?!

ABC’s Dancing With the Stars Has unveiled its Season 17 cast, and the new crop of celeb hoofers includes cancer fighter Valerie Harper, a Glee star, two Saved By the Bell alumni and (of course) a lumbering NFL vet.

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The full cast is on display in the slideshow below, with the pro partners. Of note, Harper, 74, was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in January, and given three to six months to live. Amid new reports that she is close to remission, Harper said on Good Morning America, “I’m moving in the right direction. So as my husband said, ‘Let’s just buy time, Val.'” And yes, Christina Milian‘s participation double-confirms that which she announced two weeks ago, that her stint as The Voice‘s “social media” somethingoranother has ended.

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DWTS will put its best feet forward Monday, Sept. 16 — now airing just one day a week, coming off a stretch of ratings stumbles (including its lowest-rated finale ever). How will it work, rid of a results show? Each week, viewers will vote for their fave performance. A pair will be cut at the end of each Monday episode by combining the judges’ scores for the night with your votes from the previous week. Capiche?

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93 Comments
  1. Cherry says:

    A surprisingly good cast!

  2. Ethel says:

    This might be the first year I watch the entire series as the cast is interesting. Hope Christina Milian stays on for a long time……keeps her away from the Voice!

    • Sami says:

      She officially left The Voice around end of July – announced it herself “to concentrate on music” but nobody bothered.. Funny enough NBC didn’t even aknowledge her leaving.

      Can they bring that chick from season 1 of The Voice as social correspondent please?

      Back to DWTS – the cast is quite known this time.

  3. GoCanes says:

    BILL NYE?!?!? Looks like it should be a good season! Can’t wait to see the pairings.

  4. ktbanks says:

    I’m actually really happy with this cast! And I’m usually underwhelmed (not that it matters, because once the season gets underway, whether they first appeared to be a good cast has nothing to do with it.)

    Also: BILL NYE THE SCIENCE GUY.
    That is all.

  5. AJ says:

    No interest in the show, but so happy to see Valerie Harper healthy enough to participate. I bet Valerie wants to be treated like everyone else and not get the “sympathy” vote. Hope she wins, but wins because she’s the best dancer!

    • Angela says:

      I hope for the same thing with her, for the reasons you stated, and for Tristan as well. It’d be nice to see that couple manage to make it far in the competition.
      Bill Nye being part of the cast shocks the hell out of me, but hey, I welcome more likeable celebrity contestants.
      Only one I’m not wild about is Snooki, just ’cause I never got the whole appeal of “Jersey Shore” and those involved in it. But eh. I’ll deal.

  6. mallory says:

    i might actually start watching DWTS again!

  7. Gabby says:

    I’m weirdly most excited about bill Nye!!! That’s awesome and for once its actually a really good cast. I’m kind of shocked.

  8. Elizabeth says:

    Can’t wait for Amber Riley, Elizabeth Berkley, Leah Remini, and Brant Daugherty! The Science Guy can go first. I couldn’t stand him when I was 9 and I doubt that has changed.

  9. Meg says:

    Great news about Valerie Harper being healthier, but they really don’t want to give Tristan any shot at winning, do they?

    • Alice says:

      Tristan comes across as being a very good teacher for older dancers, very classy, gentle, positive around new dancers, but come on! There’s gotta be like a 20 year gap in the average age of a Tristan partner and a Derek or Mark partner. Give that gorgeous man a chance to stick around!

  10. MSD says:

    Tristan’s youngest partner has been Pam Anderson- and she a) is no spring chicken and b) she was the canon fodder of the All-Star season. Good for Valerie- but my heart still waits for Tristan’s shot with a younger contender.

  11. Elyse says:

    HOLY CRAP! BILL NYE THE SCIENCE GUY?! this this real life? that’s awesome.

  12. Kate says:

    I’ve never watched this show but the cast seems great this time around.

  13. Kim says:

    Wasn’t Maks supposed to be back this season? I miss him!!

  14. Tiffany says:

    Does this mean Christina Milian won’t be annoying us on the voice???

    • Jennifer says:

      It would be kind of hard for her to be on both shows, seeing that they air at the same time. Even though some of the early stuff is pre-taped.

    • Sami says:

      Yes she left The Voice “to focus on her music” announcing it in July but nobody bothered to notice that. Hated her on The Voice but her single ain’t bad – though i listened to it while drunk!

  15. Robin says:

    This is a great cast! I’m excited! Brant Daugherty was also on Army Wives this summer! I’m probably most excited about Amber Riley and Leah Remini!

  16. erin says:

    I haven’t watched this show since Shawn Johnson won it in season 8. This cast might get me to change my mind. I’m going to be rooting for Jack Osborne and Valerie Harper, given the health issues they’re both facing, but there are so many people on this cast that I like that I think it’s going to be a great season!

    • DJ says:

      Good to see someone else remembers his MS diagnosis. I’m sure he’s getting a lot of advice from Kelly.

      • Alice says:

        And I’m sure that it will be mentioned at least 20 times the first episode and we will be reminded of it EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK. Don’t worry, ABC won’t let people forget.

  17. Can’t wait to see Keyshawn Johnson dance his way to the top.

  18. Larry says:

    I haven’t watched DWTS in years but I have to admit I’m seriously thinking of watching it this season. This is a good cast selection.

  19. Kissan says:

    Amber Riley,Christina Millan, Snooki, Corbin Bleu, Brant Daugherty, Jack Osbourne, Valerie Harper and Bill Nye The Science Guy???!!! And only one day a week???!!! That’s it I’m watching DWTS this season!!!!

  20. EE says:

    Leah and Elizabeth?!? I’ll just say it, they should have done an all Saved By The Bell cast this season. Well, except for Bill Nye the Science Guy, of course!

  21. Thea says:

    Best all around cast they’ve had in a while! And at least four of the stars have some sort of dancing/choreography experience, that I’m aware of, which should make for some interesting competition.

  22. Alichat says:

    Correction needed in the slideshow. You have Leah’s name as Lean. And I thought Maks was returning this season?? Wonder what happened there. Bill Nye should be interesting….looks like he already has good dance posture and form.

  23. CJS says:

    Bill Nye The Science Guy? That’s enough to have me watch this season (although the rest of the cast is actually one of the better ones in recent years)

  24. Heather says:

    I’m a little confused on the no results show. So potentially one couple will prepare for a whole week for the next show and then not even perform?

    • texaslas says:

      It’ll probably be formatted the same or similar to the So You Think You Can Dance elimination system. They preform each week, then combine judges votes from both weeks and audience votes from the previous week and then the stars are eliminated at the end of the show.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      “A pair will be cut at the end of each Monday episode by combining the judges’ scores for the night with [viewers'] votes from the previous week.”

  25. Heather says:

    Also supper annoying that some of the women “Stars” took their promotional pictures in fashion heels rather than the dance shoes they will perform in. They are supposed to be going out of their comfort zone. Duh.

  26. Jared says:

    Poor Tristan can’t catch a break..lol

  27. Paige says:

    This season is AWEFUL!!!! It was lackluster and I was on the fence about watching and then I saw “Snooki”. My god, why would anyone watch that? Talk about making the human race dumber. Obviously, once DWTS got Valerie Harper, they stopped trying to get stars figuring that she’ll be enough of a draw. So sad. And last season was great too. I’ll catch up on household projects instead.

  28. Volcfom says:

    Surprisingly good cast! Don’t normally watch this show, but I may have to tune in for this cycle. Good job, DWTS.

  29. Jaime says:

    So Tristan once again gets the oldest partner? Man. At least he’ll be a good sport about it.

  30. Sarah says:

    Tristan is from my hometown in Ireland. So always root for him and his celeb partner. He always seems to get the older ladies as a partner though!

    Also judging by the photo’s Jack Osbourne will be rubbish. Looks so uncomfortable and out of his depth already!!!!

  31. Hsm2joke says:

    But Crobin Bleu doesn’t dance???!

  32. DreamRose311 says:

    I have a suggestion for a prediction poll. On the chance that Bill Nye does at least somewhat decent… which just will be the first to call him ‘The Dancing Guy’?

  33. Matt says:

    who is the second saved by the Bell cast member? I only see Elizabeth Berkeley.

  34. cdeno says:

    Good cast this year. Lots of the “stars” have some kind of dancing experience which is great.

  35. I Heart Damon Salvatore says:

    Over-under on how long it takes Bill Nye to dance to “She Blinded Me With Science?”

  36. vanessa says:

    i’m rooting for amber riley and bill nye.

  37. Kim says:

    Bets on Bill Nye’s song during at least 1 performance being “Blinded Me with Science”… So rad.

  38. Amie says:

    I’m calling Corbin Bleu/Karina and Amber Riley/Derek as the F2, with Amber/Derek as the champs. Because they just can’t resist giving Derek the best partners and all the trophies… Awesome. Except not. And I will be tuning out again…

    • Meg says:

      How is Amber a shoo-in to win? She was never one of the more talented dancers on Glee.

    • Jenny says:

      Although Amber was on a show where she had to dance, she wasn’t known for her dancing abilities. They might have actually given Derek a challenge. But then he does all the over the top stuff the judges love and they over score him. I think they will go far, but not win. I think it might come down to Corbin and Elizabeth.

  39. humphrey8 says:

    Snooki??? Ick. But I guess she needs a new place to get drunk and throw up. The bars won’t let her in.

  40. Chablis says:

    I know Osborne has MS so good for him but can’t stand him. Corbin looks like he’s 50!

  41. What I like about this cast is that you have two ringers; one on each side. You have Corbin for the guys, and Christina Milian on the ladies.

    It’s going to be an interesting season — that’s for sure.

  42. Steven says:

    I’ll DVR it for Brant Daugherty. I love him.

  43. Lilacbarries says:

    I’ve never watched this show regularly but with this cast I just may. Bill Nye alone gets me to at least check it out.

  44. april-ann says:

    Sounds like alot of fun. No need to “attend” a season-long wedding weekend when we could be “Dancing”…

  45. Drew says:

    I don’t watch this show, but I don’t like the idea of Elizabeth Berkley being on it. We all know what happens when she has to make a dance video. It usually leads to a dependency on caffeine pills and I just don’t feel like we should be supporting her being put in that position again.

  46. Babygate says:

    I’m actually going to have to watch this. Too good to pass up. Amber, Leah, Snookie, Corbin, Valerie…yeap. I’ll be there…

  47. Lorie says:

    Good cast! Can’t wait for the premiere!

  48. Kat says:

    I’ve never watched DWTS, but I’m considering giving it a try due to the cast. Since there will only be one episode per week, it’ll be less of a commitment.

  49. Sarah says:

    I love Amber Riley and will root for her all season…..but can I say how refreshing it is that Derek did not get the 100 pound celebrity with a “not ballroom” dance/athletic background?!
    WOW to Valerie Harper, she is so strong and so courageous. Seriously, Corbin Bleu has been on Broadway AND has professional dance training! He worked with KennybOrtega for years on HSM. Same goes with Christina Zmilian. BILL NYE THE SCIENCE GUY….YES!

  50. Sunshine says:

    What no love or recognition for OLTL & Army Wives?!
    Corbin Bleu also from OLTL
    Brant Daugherty also from Army Wives

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