Tom Bergeron, one of the most familiar faces on ABC; first as host on America’s Funniest Home Videos from 2001 to 2015, and the original host of Dancing With the Stars; announced on Twitter he has exited the veteran dance competition series.
“Just informed @DancingABC will be continuing without me,” Bergeron wrote. “It’s been an incredible 15 year run and the most unexpected gift of my career. I’m grateful for that and for the lifelong friendships made.”
Debuting in June 2005 as a summer series, Dancing With the Stars became an immediate mainstay on ABC, with an upgrade to two editions (two nights per week) during the traditional (September to May) TV season. Now airing on one night in just one edition per season, the dance competition, which is not without some controversy, has long since peaked.
Last fall, Bergeron expressed his disappointment after the casting of Sean spicer, the former White House Press Secretary and White House Communications Director.
“A few months ago, during a lunch with DWTS‘ new executive producer, I offered suggestions for season 28. Chief among them was my hope that DWTS, in its return from an unprecedented year-long hiatus, would be a joyful respite from our exhausting political climate and free of inevitably divisive bookings from any party affiliation,” said Bergeron at the time. “I left that lunch convinced we were in agreement.”
“Subsequently (and rather obviously), a decision was made to, as we often say in Hollywood, ‘go a different direction…. We can all agree to disagree. As we do now, but ultimately it’s their call.”
ABC, meanwhile, just announced that co-host Erin Andrews is also exiting. In joint statement, ABC and BBC Studios, which produces the series, said: “Tom Bergeron will forever be part of the Dancing with the Stars family. As we embark on a new creative direction, he departs the show with our sincerest thanks and gratitude for his trademark wit and charm that helped make this show a success. Erin will also not be returning, and we appreciate all that she brought to the ballroom. Fans have been rooting for her since she originally competed as a contestant back in 2010, and her signature sense of humor has become a hallmark of the show.”
There is no news at present when Dancing With the Stars will be returning next season. Chances of this fall as we continue to battle COVID-19 is unlikely.