ABC and Dancing with the Stars‘ production company BBC Studios announced earlier this week Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews were not asked back to host Season 29 because the reality series is embarking on “a new creative direction.”
The new creative direction now includes Tyra, a supermodel who previously hosted NBC’s America’s Got Talent and also served as executive producer and judge of America’s Next Top Model for The CW and VH1.
Tyra will collaborate with Dancing with the Stars‘ executive producer and showrunner, Andrew Llinares, to refresh Dancing with the Stars while continuing to honor the show America already loves, according to ABC.
“I’ve been a fan of DWTS since its beginning… 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,” Tyra said in a statement.
“Tom has set a powerful stage, and I’m excited to continue the legacy and put on my executive producer and hosting hats.”
Following Tom’s announcement, ABC confirmed his departure and also revealed in a media statement Erin was axed from Dancing with the Stars‘ next season as well.
“Tom has been an integral part of the ABC family for nearly two decades, from hosting AFV to Dancing with the Stars, we are grateful for all he and Erin have done to make Dancing a success,” ABC Entertainment President Karey Burke said.
“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,” Burke added.
BBC Studios executive Valerie Bruce said the production company is “proud” to welcome Tyra as the new host of Dancing with the Stars.
“Tyra Banks is an icon whose powerful presence, trademark confidence, and industry-leading achievements inspire us,” Bruce said.
“We are proud to partner with ABC to welcome her as the new host of Dancing with the Stars. This represents a landmark moment in our 28 seasons producing Dancing with the Stars as we take this iconic show in a new creative direction. We offer our sincere thanks to Tom and Erin, whom we will always consider part of the Dancing with the Stars family.”
Tom hosted Dancing with the Stars since it premiered on ABC in 2005 — a span that has covered 28 seasons and over 400 episodes.
“Just informed @DancingABC will be continuing without me,” Tom, 65, tweeted on Monday.
“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. That said, now what am I supposed to do with all of these glitter masks?”
“Thank you ABC and the entire Dancing With the Stars family for 6 memorable seasons,” Erin, 42, wrote Tuesday on Twitter.
“Those years wouldn’t have been as special without my loving host Tom Bergeron, the talented dancers, and witty judges. I will always cherish my days on that set, even if I wasn’t the best at walking in heels.”
ABC previously thanked Tom for bringing his “trademark wit and charm” to Dancing with the Stars and Erin for her “signature sense of humor.”
While a premiere date for Dancing with the Stars‘ new edition has yet to be announced, the show is tentatively slated to air on ABC on Monday nights this fall pending the coronavirus pandemic.
Due to COVID-19, Season 16 of The Bachelorette — which was originally supposed to have premiered in May and air on Monday nights this summer — is now scheduled to air Tuesday nights on ABC this fall instead.