Dancing with the Stars will waltz its way back to the small screen on ABC later this year, but it will be missing more than one familiar face. In a surprising twist, longtime host Tom Bergeron will not be part of Dancing with the Stars Season 29, and his cohost of the past ten seasons will be nowhere to be found as well. Both Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews have been cut, months after the end of Season 28.
The news was made official via a joint statement from ABC and BBC Studios (via ET), saying:
Tom Bergeron will forever be part of the Dancing with the Stars family. As we embark on a new creative direction, he departs the show with our sincerest thanks and gratitude for his trademark wit and charm that helped make this show a success. Erin will also not be returning, and we appreciate all that she brought to the ballroom. Fans have been rooting for her since she originally competed as a contestant back in 2010, and her signature sense of humor has become a hallmark of the show.
The statement from ABC confirmed the departures, but doesn't give an actual reason for why Tom Bergeron, who had been host of Dancing with the Stars from the very beginning in 2005, and Erin Andrews will no longer be part of the show by the time it returns for Season 29. According to Bergeron's rep, however, ABC chose not to pick up the host's option to return, and decided to go in a different direction.
While the cohosting position held by Erin Andrews from Season 18-28 has been filled by a variety of people over the years, Tom Bergeron has hosted Dancing with the Stars in almost every single episode, aside from when Season 19 champion Alfonso Ribeiro filled in for a week in Season 21. Losing either Bergeron or Andrews in a season of Dancing with the Stars would have been a big deal; losing them both should mean that DWTS will look very different in Season 29, on the heels of changes to Season 28.
Tom Bergeron actually broke the news of his departure before ABC and BBC released their statement, sharing this on Twitter:
Just informed @DancingABC will be continuing without me. It's been an incredible 15 year run and the most unexpected gift of my career. I'm grateful for that and for the lifelong friendships made. That said, now what am I supposed to do with all of these glitter masks?
While fans en masse are undoubtedly dismayed by the news, Tom Bergeron broke it with some humor that may soften the blow. That said, in response to somebody on on social media who asked if his time as host was ending because he was finally becoming a contestant, his response was a simple "Um...no." Does this suggest some bitterness about the end of his time on DWTS? Or just that it's difficult to imagine? Considering Bergeron competed in a season of The Masked Singer, I can't blame the fan for wondering.
At the time of writing, Erin Andrews hasn't posted anything on social media about the news of her departure from Dancing with the Stars. These changes do raise the question of whether more news about Season 29 will start releasing sooner rather than later. So far, pretty much all we know for sure other than Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews' departures is that former Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe is on board, and Dr. Anthony Fauci is not.
At this point, I don't even know how ABC could replace Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews, although my money is on some Dancing with the Stars veterans stepping in. Alfonso Ribeiro already filled in for Bergeron once, so he's definitely a candidate. Maybe Hannah Brown will continue her ABC reality TV streak! We'll have to wait and what else breaks about Season 29 ahead of the planned fall premiere.
For what you can watch during the wait for fall TV season, check out our 2020 summer TV premiere schedule!