Dancing With The Stars Is Leaving ABC In Surprise Move, But Will Still Make TV History With Season 31

If you were shocked when Dancing With the Stars changed up its hosts two seasons ago, wait until you see what the reality competition show is doing now! After 16 years and 30 seasons on ABC, Dancing With the Stars is leaving the network entirely, and will move exclusively to streaming on Disney+ for at least Seasons 31 and 32.

With the move to streaming, Dancing With the Stars will become the first live series to debut on Disney+. Deadline reports that it is also believed to be the first live streaming reality show produced in the U.S., marking another milestone for non-linear platforms. According to a statement from Kareem Daniel, chairman, Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution:

Dancing with the Stars has entertained fans for 16 years on ABC, and we are excited to bring this beloved show exclusively to Disney+ as the platform’s first-ever live series. The show’s broad appeal, as well as the overwhelming popularity of its Disney-themed competition nights, make Disney+ the perfect home for Dancing with the Stars while continuing to expand our demographic reach.

NFL football will be part of ABC's plans to fill the 8-10 p.m. ET time slot that has been occupied by Dancing With the Stars. As part of ESPN’s Monday Night Football contract, beginning in 2022, ABC will exclusively air an additional MNF game, which will expand to three in 2023. 

With streaming services like Apple TV+, Peacock, and Amazon's Prime Video getting more into live sports, live entertainment appeared to be one of the last areas left solely to network television. Dancing With the Stars' historic move may open the door for other shows to follow suit, especially since it's signed on for a two-season deal. Valerie Bruce, general manager of BBC Studios, Los Angeles Productions, said the two-season pickup is a vote of confidence from Disney:

The fact that our iconic global format Dancing with the Stars will now set the record as the first live series on Disney+ represents a major growth opportunity and a bold next step forward in the evolution of the franchise. This unprecedented move, combined with our two-season pick-up, is a testament to the proven power of Dancing with the Stars and a resounding vote of confidence from our great, supportive partners at Disney, showing how much they value and believe in the brand.

The popularity and longevity of the competition show make it a seemingly smart choice to make the live entertainment jump to streaming. Dancing With the Stars has been making bold moves for the past couple of seasons, and this falls in line with its ever-present efforts to expand its audience. After Tyra Banks replaced Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews as hosts in Season 29, the show made history in Season 30 by featuring its first same-sex dancing duo. YouTuber and Dance Moms alum JoJo Siwa was paired with pro dancer Jenna Johnson, and the couple made it all the way to the finale before coming in second place to winners NBA shooting guard Iman Shumpert and pro Daniella Karagach.

There are no details yet on what other changes might be coming to the show as it jumps from ABC to Disney+. Val Chmerkovskiy previously revealed that his days as a pro partner are "probably" over, and there have been questions about if fellow pro Cheryl Burke will return. Season 31 had been expected to premiere in September, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates on this shocking announcement, as well as the cast and premiere date when they're announced.

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.