‘Dancing With the Stars’ Exec Reveals Changes from ABC to Disney+, Including No More Commercials


One of the executive producers of Dancing With the Stars is opening up about the changes that fans can expect now that the show has moved from ABC to the Disney+ streaming service.

The fan-fave competition series is heading into Season 31 and it will air live on Disney+, marking the first time a show has ever aired lived on the streamer.

One of the biggest changes is that there will be no commercial breaks and the show will be completely ad-free.

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“Job one, the first thing, is that there are no longer ad breaks,” executive producer Conrad Green told Variety. “And a lot of other decisions spun out from that. We’ve got up to two hours on the nose to fill, rather than a commercial version of two hours. And that’s almost a third more material that you’ve got to find for the show.”

The two-hour episodes of DWTS on ABC were only 86-minutes long.

“We’ve lost 34 minutes of reset time,” he added. “So those are our big challenges this season, how do we fill that [extra] time editorially, and secondly, how do we deal with losing those minutes that we used to use for reset?”

Disney exec Michael Paull explained what they’ll be doing with the traditional ad breaks.

“What we’re going to do is use what would have been traditional ad breaks as a way to create more programming and to further engage our audience. So it’s a pretty exciting task for the team, because it’s a very different format than what it had been historically. And I think people are going to be really excited by some of the ideas that they came up with to complete the story on the shows,” he said.

The Skybox area will be back this season as a way for the crew to reset the stage in between performances.

“We definitely needed to bring back an area of the set so that we can clear the stage and actually move stuff around,” Green said. “So we brought back the skybox, and that meant bringing in a co-host as well. Alfonso is such a great addition to the team. He’s a former champion on the show, but he’s really passionate about it. He’s friends with a lot of the dancers, he really understands what makes the show tick and he brings humor to it and genuine interest in the celebrities and their journeys.”

Green also says that producers don’t need to worry about the clock anymore because the show is allowed to end early or late.

“We don’t want to go over two hours because I think two hours is a lot of TV to watch,” Green said. “So we’re trying to make that our top limit. I think that’ll be quite tight and quite fast in the early episodes, certainly the first episode. But after that there will be more time and we can drop down to 10 minutes, 15 minutes under if we need to. As the show develops across the season, we can let it breathe a little bit more. We don’t have to be quite as stressed about rushing judges in their comments or rushing Alfonso and his chats backstage.”

Here are the salaries for the DWTS celeb contestants and the pro dancers.

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