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HOME > Dancing with the Stars > Dancing with the Stars 5

Report: Former 'Benefactor' Mark Cuban going 'Dancing with the Stars'


By Christopher Rocchio and Steve Rogers, 08/27/2007 

Athletes Apolo Anton Ohno and Emmitt Smith have both captured Dancing with the Stars' mirror ball trophy as celebrity participants, and now former The Benefactor star Mark Cuban is apparently hoping that track record carries over to sports' team owners.

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The 49-year-old billionaire owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks franchise -- who also gave away $1 million while playing the Donald Trump-type role in ABC's 2004 The Apprentice-like The Benefactor reality series -- will be one of the celebrities participating on Dancing with the Stars' upcoming fifth edition, Sports Illustrated reported Sunday.  ABC plans to officially announce its Dancing with the Stars 5 lineup during Wednesday's broadcast of Good Morning America.

Cuban made his billions as an Internet entrepreneur in the 1990s, but gained notoriety as the outspoken owner of the Mavericks following his 2000 purchase of the team.

The Benefactor centered around Cuban asking the show's contestants "what would you do for a million dollars?", however viewers were probably confounded by a more basic question -- "when is it on?" 

Given his familiarity to sports fans, ABC aired The Benefactor as a Fall 2004 companion to Monday Night Football, but since NFL games are broadcast live across the country, the network's decision resulted in Cuban's show airing before or after MNF -- or in some markets, not at all -- in different parts of the country.  Unsurprisingly, The Benefactor struggled in the ratings, causing ABC to eventually decide re-edit the show's last three episodes into one and cut the show's run from eight episodes to six.

While he'll no doubt be the wealthiest Dancing with the Stars' participant the Emmy-nominated reality competition series has ever had, he won't be the first with connections to the sports world. 

Heavyweight boxer Evander Holyfield was featured in Season 1; ESPN anchor Kenny Mayne and former NFL star Jerry Rice competed in Season 2; Season 3 was won by Smith, a fellow former NFL star; and Ohno, an Olympic speed skater, was the Season 4 champ, with former NBA star Clyde Drexler and boxer Laila Ali also participating.

Dancing with the Stars 5 is scheduled to premiere over the course of three consecutive nights beginning with a 90-minute performance episode on Monday, September 24 at 8PM ET/PT. 

Earlier this summer, Jennie Garth's publicist confirmed the former Beverly Hills 90210 actress would be participating in Dancing with the Stars 5.  In addition, entertainer Wayne Newton will also reportedly perform as a celebrity two-stepper.  Although unconfirmed, Garth's fellow former 90210 cast member and Tori & Dean: Inn Love star Tori Spelling as well as Spice Girl Melanie Brown will also reportedly be members of the show's fifth-season cast.

(Photo credit ABC)


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