Big changes are headed to Dancing with the Stars when the reality competition series returns with an all-athletes cycle on Monday, April 30.
The show will see a major shake-up when Andrew Llinares, the man who brought The X Factor over to the U.S., steps in as the new showrunner. According to the Hollywood Reporter, he'll try to take the show in a fresh new direction while also keeping Dancing's core values in tact — a feat that will be anything but easy.
"The challenge is to find a way to hold on to the key values of the show, while moving it forward while keeping current and fresh," Llinares explained to THR. "It's definitely about evolution rather than revolution. Story and emotion are absolutely key for me. With that in mind, I want us to find ways to make the stories on the show even more compelling and the emotional connection, which the viewer has to the performances, even stronger. I also want us to come up with ideas that surprise and excite the viewers every week, so that they keep coming back for more."
While some fans may be nervous at the idea of changes coming, it should be a relief to know that another reality flagship underwent its own evolution recently to great success. For the first American season of Celebrity Big Brother, which was similarly condensed like DWTS' all-athlete cycle will be, the CBS staple instituted a few notable changes (omitting Zingbot and allowing evicted houseguests to go home instead of the jury house), but the overall spirit of the show remained the same and fans couldn't get enough.
The new season of DWTS could follow suit and shake things up by cutting out some of the show's signature theme weeks (movie night, perhaps?) in order to make room for some fresh new additions, though nothing has been confirmed yet.
Dancing with the Stars returns Thursday, April 30 on ABC.