Wildly popular celebrity competition series Dancing with the stars heads to Disney Plus, marking the first live series to debut exclusively on the streaming service.
The series previously aired for 30 seasons in 16 years on Disney’s TV network ABC. Disney said the series will have an exclusive two-season pick-up on Disney Plus and will premiere in the US and Canada in the fall. The show will be recorded in front of a live audience by the production department of BBC Studios in Los Angeles.
Details about Disney Plus’s rights to past seasons are unclear. Asked if Dancing with the stars will air in the future or whether Disney Plus will get the full catalog of the show, Disney spokesman Heather Levine . told The edge that the company will share additional details at a later date.
The decision to move one of ABC’s biggest live TV series to Disney Plus underscores the company’s commitment to getting more subscribers to its major streaming service. Disney Plus says it plans to reach 230 million to 260 million subscribers by 2024 and is focused on that goal. Some of Disney’s biggest movies have debuted on Disney Plus since launch, and the service also recently announced a cheaper ad-supported tier.
“The show’s wide appeal, as well as the overwhelming popularity of its Disney-themed competition nights, make Disney Plus the perfect home for Dancing with the stars as we continue to expand our demographic reach,” Kareem Daniel, president of Disney media and entertainment distribution, said in a statement.
However, it’s a bold decision given the show’s immense popularity with ABC. The company said that during the 2021 fall season, Dancing with the stars was in the top five unscripted series with adults ages 18 to 49. Dana Walden, chairman of entertainment at Walt Disney Television, said in a statement that ABC is focused on expanding its unscripted slate.