“Dancing With the Stars” announced their new cast for this season which will begin airing on March 17th on ABC at 8/7c. And the list includes celebrities, Olympic winners, and as we reported last week The Real Housewives of Atlanta reality star Nene Leakes. Some of the other top names are: Olympic gold winners, Charlie White, Meryl Davis, distance swimmer Diana Nyad, Danica McKeller, comedian Drew Carey, and Billy Dee Williams. Also new this season Maks Chmerkovskiy returns to the ballroom and has already announced that his partner is Olympian Meryl Davis. Tom Bergeron’s co-host Brooke Burke-Charvet was fired and replaced by Fox Sports’ Erin Andrews.
The show’s audience was slightly smaller (averaging 15 million viewers) and older last fall. And while it is roughly tied with The Voice in total viewers, Dancing With the Stars has only about half that show’s young-adult audience. The median age of a Dancing With the Stars viewer is 61.6, the second-oldest of any major-network prime time series. Professional dancer Derek Hough hinted that this season will be different saying in an interview that the cast will switch partners at least once this season.
Executive producer Conrad Green says:
“You have to change things every so often to keep them fresh. We have to be mindful of keeping hold of younger audiences. Ours does skew a little older. I think we’ve held our own remarkably well.”
After suffering a pulmonary embolism in November, Nene’s biggest obstacle is her health as she has gained a few pounds. She says:
“Being sick made me gain some weight. So I’m hoping this will help me lose 20 pounds. There will be doctors on set for me but I feel pretty good.” She says that her stripping experience in her twenties doesn’t give her any edge saying: “Not a whole lot of dancing there. I think I have a little rhythm.”
The complete list of stars and the dancing pros they’ll be paired with is as follows:
• Full House actress Candace Cameron Bure & Mark Ballas
• Wonder Years actress Danica McKellar & Valentin Chmerkovskiy
• Swimmer Diana Nyad & Henry Byalikov
• Real Housewives Of Atlanta star Nene Leakes & Tony Dovolani
• Pop star Cody Simpson & Witney Carson
• The Price is Right host Drew Carey & Cheryl Burke
• Olympic ice dancing gold medalist Meryl Davis & Maksim Chmerkovskiy
• Olympic ice dancing gold medalist Charlie White & Sharna Burgess
• Para-snowboarder Amy Purdy (who lost both her legs after contracting menigitis) & Derek Hough
• Former NHL player Sean Avery & Karina Smirnoff
• Singer/actor Billy Dee Williams & Emma Slater
• Big Time Rush band member/actor James Maslow & Peta Murgatroyd
Are you happy with the cast? What are your thoughts? Post your comments below.
— DWTS Fans (@DWTSRW) February 26, 2013