Dancing With the Stars Mulling Format Changes Ahead of Season 28

DWTS Juan Pablo Eliminated

Ask and you shall receive, Dancing With the Stars fans: Ahead of its 28th season this fall, the competition show plans to make a few “format changes” for its return to the ballroom.

During an Upfronts press briefing on Tuesday morning, ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke revealed that “some really fun” changes to the show’s structure are on their way. Burke wasn’t able to offer specifics about the shake-ups, but she said Dancing‘s producers are planning to “surprise and delight the audience in new ways,” while maintaining “the same show that everyone knows and loves.”

Though it’s not yet clear if the format changes will apply to Dancing‘s voting structure, its elimination process or another aspect of the show, the adjustments come in the wake of a controversial 27th season. After well-scored frontrunners (including Fuller House‘s Juan Pablo Di Pace and R&B singer Tinashe) were eliminated prematurely, dark horse Bobby Bones ultimately won the Mirrorball trophy, prompting many fans (and us!) to call for a change to the show’s voting system.

After his surprising elimination, Di Pace voiced his support for a new voting structure: “Twenty-seven seasons later, maybe it is time for a refresh, a little nip and tuck. Maybe instead of being completely a popularity contest, it could actually be more of a skill contest. But who am I to say? I think the fans’ outrage will probably work for something.”

Burke added that Dancing is pursuing “bigger stars” than the show has previously cast, though the full lineup won’t be revealed until late summer.

Dancing With the Stars‘ 28th season will premiere this fall in its usual Mondays-at-8 time slot; see ABC’s full 2019-20 schedule here.

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