Dancing with the Stars returns for its 17th season Monday, after going through an overhaul this summer. In an attempt to curb the show's steadily declining ratings,Dancing has made a number of changes for the new season, including returning to a single-night format.
"Obviously it's always very challenging in ratings terms when shows mature," executive producer Conrad Green tells TVGuide.com. "I think the key is, you do need to keep innovating. You do need to keep trying new things."
Last fall, a longtime goal of Dancing with the Stars producers came into fruition: an all-stars season.
Thirteen alums returned, but viewers fled. The onetime ratings juggernaut delivered less-than-glittery numbers — partially due to The Voice's first fall outing siphoning eyeballs. But executive producer Conrad Green also believes it's because fans want to see dancing with new stars, not all-stars.
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"Perhaps that was a miscalculation on our part. Maybe we underestimated how important it was to have a new story rather than a continuation of one," Green tells TVGuide.com. "We thought seeing old favorites come back would be really appealing, and I think it was to core fans of the show. All-Stars did deliver in terms of being able to try some new dances out, new challenges and really pushing the level of competition. I think what it lacked was the shock of the new.
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"So it's quite nice this season to go back to fresh faces, people completely unfamiliar with dance and get back to that kind of innocence," Green continues. "It's back to basics almost. There's definitely a ...
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"To be honest, I didn't think we'd get that many," executive producer Conrad Green tells TVGuide.com. "It's quite incredible, isn't it? I was hoping we'd get a good response and it was more than any of us could've expected. This whole cast is really the cream of the cream of the crop."
That's not an overstatement: Of the 13 returning stars, only two of them — Pamela Anderson and Sabrina Bryan, who's back via fan vote — didn't make the finals in their ...