Following the sudden departures of the popular reality competition show's former hosts, Dancing with the Stars has named Tyra Banks as the official host of the program. Additionally, Banks will serve as an executive producer along with her new hosting duties. According to a new report, Banks will begin hosting the show starting with its upcoming 29th season, and the world-famous model and television star has also addressed her new gig in a statement released to the media.
"I've been a fan of DWTS since its beginning," Tyra Banks says in the statement. "The fun mixed with raw emotion, seeing celebrities push past their comfort zones, the sizzling dance performances... it's always transported me to my days of turning it up 10 notches on the catwalk. Tom has set a powerful stage, and I'm excited to continue the legacy and put on my executive producer and hosting hats."
The news of Banks joining the series comes almost immediately after former host Tom Bergeron revealed that the network canned him from the series, with ABC neglecting to invite him back for season 29. Additionally, Bergeron's co-host Erin Andrews was also sacked from the show with ABC apparently looking to somehow reinvent the series. While undoubtedly shocking for Bergeron, the announcement also came as a big surprise to longtime fans of the series who've grown accustomed to having Bergeron as the host. Bergeron had been hosting the show for the past 15 years, while Andrews has also been around for the past six.
ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke addressed the show's host shake-up in a statement of her own. "Tom has been an integral part of the ABC family for nearly two decades, from hosting AFV to Dancing With the Stars," the statement reads. "We are grateful for all he and Erin have done to make Dancing a success. As we gear up for the show's 29th season, we can't wait to welcome Tyra Banks to our Dancing stage. Tyra is an award-winning multihyphenate whose fierce female prowess and influence across many industries have made an indelible mark. Her fresh take on America's favorite dancing competition will surely bring more than a 'Smize' to fans everywhere."
Banks comes into Dancing With the Stars with plenty of prior hosting experience. She is well known for hosting and executive producing the popular reality competition series America's Next Top Model in addition to hosting her own talk show, The Tyra Banks Show. She also appeared as a judge for America's Got Talent for its twelfth season. Her involvement in Dancing With the Stars will see her teaming up with showrunner Andrew Llinares as part of the network's planned "creative refresh" for the hit show, but it remains to be seen which other changes will also be coming along with Banks serving as the new host.
Officially, the next season of Dancing With the Stars is planned to premiere on ABC this fall, but continued television production delays could mean that season 29 could in fact be arriving much later. When the show eventually makes its way to television, however, we can expect to see a new host leading the festivities. This news comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.