Earlier this year, ABC and BBC Studios shocked Dancing With The Stars fans when they announced Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews were being let go as hosts. Bergeron hosted the reality dance competition since its inaugural season back in 2005, while Andrews joined him as co-host in 2014. The hosting duo was replaced by Tyra Banks for the current season.
It was unclear why ABC made the decision to change direction with its hosts at the time. During ABC’s VirtuFall panel on Wednesday (September 30), executive producer Andrew Llinares finally opened up about the shake up. “I think it’s all about evolution. I think any show like this that has been on many, many seasons needs to continue to evolve,” he said. “I think changing the host was all about evolution, it was about making the show feel fresh, making it feel new [and] kind of make it reach out — maybe to a new audience as well, as well as the audience that’s been there for years.”
Llinares also addessed the decision to slim the show down from one host to two. “I think it’s working brilliantly with the one host. I think it’s really refreshed the pace of the show, actually,” he told reporters. “I think it’s taken it to a new pace, in terms of moving faster and just feeling different. I think there’s a real danger when a show’s been on for a long time that the audience almost gets bored of the rhythm. It doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with it. It just sort of gets a little boring — the rhythm of it. So, I think it’s changed the rhythm of the show in a really exciting way.”
Though fans of the show were sad to see Bergeron and Andrews go, Llinares had nothing but praise for Banks. “Tyra is doing an amazing, amazing job. It’s just so wonderful to have her energy in the ballroom and her expertise as a host in the ballroom. I think I think she’s brought a new life to everything. It’s really exciting," he gushed.
Dancing With the Stars airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.