The 31st season premiere of Dancing With the Stars is less than three weeks away, and with so much at stake in its move to Disney +, all eyes are on executive producer Conrad Green. For anyone who isn’t familiar with his behind-the-scenes talents, he is the original executive producer who kicked off the series in its inaugural season in 2005. He helped make this reality competition show one of the most popular watercooler topics after each sparkly episode.
From that initial six-week summer season, it launched into a two-times-per-year juggernaut for ABC. He spent 18 seasons creating magic out there on the ballroom floor, until he departed after Meryl Davis’ win with partner Maks Chmerkovskiy. After his exit, the show stumbled along the way — there were definitely some bright spots over the seasons, but no other showrunner has been able to recapture that lightning in a bottle. That’s the task ahead of Green as he tackles another season — this time on Disney + — eight years after his departure.
Technology has changed since he left, Instagram and TikTok rule the social media platforms, the show is down to one season a year, and many of the longtime viewers left when beloved hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews were fired. Let’s just say he has a huge challenge ahead of him, but so far, he’s delivered major improvements before a single Samba has hit the dance floor.
- The Focus: The primary focus on DWTS should always be dance. People aren’t there to see the hosts or the judges (sure, they are important components to making the show run), but viewers are there to see the celebrity journeys and the heartfelt emotions. From the posters to the promos, Green has given the fans what they’ve been asking for the last two seasons.
- Troupe: The loss of troupe after Season 27 meant that there was less dancing on the show — less bumpers, less group numbers, and the series didn’t feel as grand as it had in prior seasons. With the return of a four-member troupe this season and two hours with no commercials to fill, it’s going to be a 120-minute weekly dance extravaganza.
- Hosts: This show has always been helmed by two people. Viewers saw what it looked like with one person hosting — and it just doesn’t work. By bringing in Season 19 winner Alfonso Ribeiro, the entire burden won’t fall on Tyra Banks. She will be set up to succeed this season with Ribeiro as her teammate — and we have to thank Green for recognizing that two hours of live TV alone is a seriously tough job.
There will be more details revealed over the coming weeks, but Dancing With the Stars is already feeling like its old self again, thanks to Conrad Green’s back-to-the-ballroom touches.
Photo Credit: Disney +.