ABC's 'Dancing with the Stars 3' to premiere September 12
By Reality TV World staff, 07/19/2006
ABC has announced that the third edition of Dancing with the Stars, the network's smash-hit reality ballroom competition, will kick off ABC's fall season and premiere on Tuesday, September 12 at 8PM ET/PT with a special two-hour premiere.
Dancing with the Stars 3 will air its first results show the following night on Wednesday, September 13 at 8PM ET/PT -- the results show's regular time period.
As the network first announced in May, rather than air on the same Thursday/Friday broadcast schedule that its second edition used, Dancing with the Stars' third season will move to an American Idol-like midweek schedule (fitting given its Idol-like ratings growth) in which its performance and results shows will air on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 8PM ET/PT.
Hoping to simultaneously give Dancing with the Stars 3's early round performances that extra time they need and also use the program as a launching pad for not one but two new ABC sitcoms, the show's Tuesday performance shows will gradually be reduced from two hours in length to one. After two weeks of two-hour performance shows, the show's performance broadcasts will be reduced to 90 minutes and Help Me Help You, a new ABC sitcom, will begin airing at 9:30PM ET/PT beginning September 26. Following three more weeks of eliminations, the performance shows will be reduced to an hour, with The Knights Of Prosperity, another new ABC sitcom that's already on its fourth title, taking over the 9-9:30PM ET/PT time period between Dancing with the Stars and Help Me Help You.
Dancing with the Stars' results show will retain the same full-hour variety show-type format that it ended up adopting during the course of last season's Friday night broadcasts throughout its third season. Lost -- set to premiere October 4 -- will remain in its Wednesdays at 9PM time period and serve as Dancing with the Stars 3's results show lead-out for six weeks, after which -- in an attempt to placate viewers frustrated with repeats -- it will go on a thirteen week hiatus and later return with sixteen new episodes. Day Break, a new Taye Diggs thriller that ABC hopes will also benefit from having the final weeks of Dancing with the Stars' results show as its lead-in, will then take over Lost's post-results show time period.
While the move to a Tuesday/Wednesday schedule will put Dancing with the Stars up against CBS's popular NCIS series, the decision to no longer air its performance shows on Thursdays will also prevent the show from having to compete with Survivor, which cut in Dancing with the Stars' second season ratings when CBS unexpectedly premiered Survivor: Panama prior to NBC's Winter Olympics coverage. CBS had originally been expected to delay Survivor's return until immediately after NBC's Olympics coverage ended -- a schedule that would have resulted in Dancing with the Stars 2 airing its finale the week before Survivor: Panama's debut.
So far, ABC has not revealed the identities of any of the celebrities who will compete on this fall's season, however last month, Hollywood actress Vivica A. Fox confirmed reports that she will be one of the new season's participants.