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Derek Hough is leaving Dancing with the Stars. Let's go ahead and start with the bad news. Sometimes it's better to just rip off the band-aid, and Derek Hough leaving the long-running ABC competitions series is one pretty large band-aid. The good news is that he already has a brand new project in the works, one that NBC announced yesterday. Yes, not only is Derek Hough leaving Dancing with the Stars, he's also leaving ABC completely... for now at least. This one might need some Neosporin, too.
Here's what happened. Yesterday, NBC just blithely tossed out the news that Derek Hough is working with Jennifer Lopez---who also appears on NBC's Shades of Blue---on a new dancing competition series. This one will be called World of Dance. It's not quite as catchy as Dancing with the Stars in terms of headlines, but maybe it will grow on me? The move isn't wholly unprecedented. Currently, Derek Hough is signed on to appear in the upcoming NBC live musical Hairspray Live!. So, he's definitely taken gigs outside of ABC before. Still, jumping to a different competition series on a different network is a, well, different beast.
World of Dance is expected to follow some of the world's most elite dancers. Those dancers will include solo acts, crews and duos who will compete in a variety of different dance styles. So not only do each of these dancers have to be great at dancing, they have to be disciplined and have the skills to compete in a variety of different types of dancing competitions, as well.
The one are where Dancing with the Stars gets criticism is that the judges sometimes give out high scores to the celebrity acts that are the best, but that would not hold up if working within the boundaries of rigorous dancing competition standards. The World of Dance company reportedly put together rigorous scoring standards for each event and the contestants will be judged by Jennifer Lopez, Derek Hough and NE-YO. I kind-of wish the show was including a Len Goodman-type of expert, but then the comparisons with Dancing with the Stars might be rampant.
While I wondered at first if World of Dance might be a summer season show, allowing Derek Hough to work both on ABC and NBC, that doesn't seem to be the case. The celebrity dancer announced on Ellen this morning that he will be leaving the ABC competition series that made him a household name. Now, we should note that Derek Hough has taken breaks from DWTS in the past. He most recently did not appear in Season 22 of the long-running series. If World of Dance doesn't work out or something else happens, there's always a chance Hough could return to ABC, even if it's just in a guest judging capacity. (I'd love to watch that actually.) We'll let you know how the whole thing shakes out.
World of Dance does not currently have a premiere date. However, you can take a look at what is coming up at midseason with our premiere schedule.