Dancing with the Stars has named former American Idol bandleader Ray Chew as the show's new music director and composer, ABC announcedFriday.
Chew's band, featuring new musicians and singers, will make their debut on the Season 18 premiere Monday, March 17 at 8/7c.
"Live music is the lifeblood of DWTS and we couldn't be more excited to be working with Ray and his talented band. Ray is one of the most versatile and dynamic musicians working today. It promises to be a spectacular season," Dancing executive producer Conrad Green said in a statement.
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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."read more
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 ...