‘DWTS’ Boss Reveals Why Tom Bergeron & Erin Andrews Were Replaced

Tom Bergeron Erin Andrews Dancing With the Stars
ABC/Kelsey McNeal

Some fans may still be uncertain about the Dancing With the Stars host switch for its 29th season, with Tyra Banks replacing Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews. But executive producer Andrew Llinares thinks it’s what the ABC dance competition series, which pairs celebrities with professional dancers, needed.

“Any show like this that has been on for many, many seasons needs to continue to evolve,” he said as part of ABC’s virtual fall press day, according to ET. Part of that “evolution” was bringing in a new host. “It was all about making the show feel fresh” and “new” and appeal to both old and new fans,” he explained, even if nothing felt “wrong.”

They’ve also done that by bringing pro dancer Derek Hough back as judge, updating the set, and “throughout the fabric of everything on the show,” Llinares continued. “We wanted to make the show feel relevant but still hold on to the heart of the show.”

That echoes what Hough said prior to the season. While he understood some fans unsure if they would be tuning in with the new changes, he promised that “the heart of the show … the relationships [and] the celebrities and pros’ journey … never will change.”

For Llinares, having only one host instead of two is “working brilliantly” and has “really refreshed the pace” of Dancing With the Stars. “I think it’s changed the rhythm of the show in a really exciting way,” he said. “I think Tyra is doing an amazing, amazing job. It’s been wonderful having her energy in the ballroom and her expertise as a host in the ballroom. She’s brought a new life to everything.”

ABC and BBC Studios’ statement regarding long-time hosts Bergeron and Andrews’ departures also noted that they were moving in “a new creative direction.” And ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke said of Banks, “her fresh take on America’s favorite dancing competition will surely bring more than a ‘Smize’ to fans everywhere.”

Dancing With the Stars, Mondays, 8/7c, ABC