ABC reveals the identities of its 'Dancing with the Stars 3' celebrities
By Reality TV World staff, 08/14/2006
After months of rumors, ABC has formally revealed the identities of the celebrities who will be competing on this fall's third edition of its Dancing with the Stars smash-hit reality ballroom competition.
In addition to Hollywood actress Vivica A. Fox (who had already publicly confirmed her participation back in June), Dancing with the Stars's third season cast will include MSNBC talk show host Tucker Carlson, High School Musical star Monique Coleman, country singer Sara Evans, pop singer Willa Ford, actor Harry Hamlin, actor Joseph "Don't call me Joey anymore" Lawrence, actor Mario Lopez, former Meet The Barkers star (and soon-to-be new divorcee) Shanna Moakler, retired NFL star Emmit Smith, and former talk show host Jerry Springer.
Although ABC had declined to comment on any casting reports, Fox, Hamlin (the husband of Dancing 2 competitor Lisa Rinna) and Lopez's participation had been rumored for months. Last week, additional online reports that Carlson, Lawrence, Moakler, and Smith would also be part of the third season cast also began circulating.
Dancing with the Stars 2 professional dancers Louis Van Amstel, Cheryl Burke, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Ashly Delgrosso, Tony Dovolani, Nick Kosovich, and Edyta Sliwinska will all return for the show's third season, as will hosts Tom Bergeron and Samantha Harris (while ABC used Rinna to help unveil this season's cast on today's Good Morning America broadcast, she will not, as had been rumored this past spring and incorrectly reported by some media outlets today, replace Harris as the show's co-host.)
Judges Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli will also all return for Dancing with the Stars' third edition. Beginning this fall, Dancing with the Stars will also be broadcast in HDTV (earlier this summer, the network's short-livedThe One reality talent competition became the first ABC reality series to be broadcast in high definition.)
Carlson will be partnered with Elena Grinenko, one of this season's new professional dancers. Coleman will dance with Van Amstel, an original Dancing pro who paired with Rinna and Trista Sutter (Season 1) in the show's first two seasons. Evans will pair with Dovolani, who partnered with Stacy Keibler last season.
Chmerkovskiy, who paired with Tia Carrere last season, will be Ford's partner. Fox will dance with Kosovich, who paired with Tatum O’Neal last season. Hamlin will pair with Delgrosso, another original Dancing pro who previously paired with Master P (Season 2) and Joey McIntyre (Season 1.)
Sliwinska, another original Dancing pro who previously paired with George Hamilton (Season 2) and Evander Holyfield (Season 1), will be paired with Lawrence. Lopez will dance with Karina Smirnoff, another of this season's four new professional dancers. Moakler, will be paired with Jesse DeSoto, another of the season's new professional dancers.
Burke, who won last season's Dancing with the Stars competition with Drew Lachey, will be paired with Smith. Springer will dance with professional dancer Kym Johnson, who while new to the ABC version of the show, previously paired with Australian celebrity Tom Williams to win the second season of Australia's version of the show.
After its 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 new 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 Ted Danson 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.
Despite the move to Wednesdays, Dancing with the Stars' third season results show broadcasts will retain the same full-hour variety show-type format that they ended up adopting during the course of last season's Friday night broadcasts.