Will 'Dancing with the Stars: Athletes' Be a Hit or a Flop?
Will 'Dancing with the Stars: Athletes' Be a Hit or a Flop?
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Dancing with the Stars is doing something different for season 26. The special season will be much shorter than usual, running for just four weeks. And the 10-person cast is comprised entirely athletes, many from the recent 2018 Winter Olympics. Will the new format be a success and reinvigorate the long-running franchise, or will it be a ratings disaster?

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Dancing with the Stars has been on a steady decline for years. In each of the past five seasons, the show's premiere ratings have dropped. In Fall 2017, season 25 began with just 10.71 million viewers. That's down 1.5 million from the previous year. Obviously competing against The Voice has hurt its ratings in recent seasons, but interest has steadily declined.

Dancing with the Stars: Athletes could change that. The four-week event may make people more likely to tune in if they feel like it's not an overly long time commitment. Or it could go the other way, with fans not bothering to check it out since it'll be over before you can blink.

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The athlete component also raises a big question mark. Will more sports fans check it out, especially those who followed the Winter Olympics and want to see some of their favorites like Adam Rippon again? Or will the theme turn off viewers who don't care about the sports world and only watch to see nostalgic entertainers like stars from '90s TV shows or member of boy bands from the past?

If the ratings are strong, perhaps ABC will consider keeping a similar format for next year, allowing American Idol to take over Mondays for most of the Spring and then doing another short season of Dancing with the Stars. If the ratings are bad, ABC may want to either go back to a full regular season in the Spring or cut the Spring season entirely or maybe even trying moving it to a different night.

Do you think the show will be a ratings hit or a flop? Dancing with the Stars: Athletes premieres Monday, April 30 at 8/7c on ABC. For more updates, like BuddyTV's DWTS Facebook page.

(Image courtesy of ABC)