Well, it appears that ABC wasn't looking to abandon a host format for when its hugely popular reality competition series Dancing with the Stars: they just didn't want Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews in those roles. Wednesday morning, the network announced that supermodel, businesswoman, and talk show host Tyra Banks will be assuming both hosting and executive producer responsibilities- the first lead hosting change for the series in its 28 seasons. "I've been a fan of 'DWTS' since its beginning … The fun mixed with raw emotion, seeing celebrities push past their comfort zones, the sizzling dance performances … it's always transported me to my days of turning it up 10 notches on the catwalk," said Banks. "Tom has set a powerful stage, and I'm excited to continue the legacy and put on my executive producer and hosting hats."
Banks will collaborate with executive producer/showrunner, Andrew Llinares, with ABC saying in its announcement that they look forward to Banks bringing "her energy and inspiration to the creative refresh the team is planning while honoring the show America loves." Teaming celebrities with renowned ballroom experts for a choreographed dance competition, Dancing with the Stars averaged 9.1 million Total Viewers last season after 35 days of viewing across linear and digital platforms.
"Tom has been an integral part of the ABC family for nearly two decades, from hosting 'AFV' to 'Dancing with the Stars' and we are grateful for all he and Erin have done to make 'Dancing' a success," said Karey Burke, president, ABC Entertainment. "As we gear up for the show's 29th season, we can't wait to welcome Tyra Banks to our 'Dancing' stage. Tyra is an award-winning multihyphenate whose fierce female prowess and influence across many industries have made an indelible mark. Her fresh take on America's favorite dancing competition will surely bring more than a 'Smize' to fans everywhere."
Valerie Bruce, general manager, LA Productions, BBC Studios, believes Banks is the right person to move the series in new directions: "Tyra Banks is an icon whose powerful presence, trademark confidence, and industry-leading achievements inspire us. We are proud to partner with ABC to welcome her as the new host of 'Dancing with the Stars.' This represents a landmark moment in our 28 seasons producing 'Dancing with the Stars' as we take this iconic show in a new creative direction. We offer our sincere thanks to Tom and Erin, whom we will always consider part of the 'Dancing with the Stars' family."