ABC has confirmed this fall's fifteenth edition of Dancing with the Stars will, for the first time ever, feature prior celebrity participants returning to the ballroom for a second chance at claiming the ballroom dancing competition's mirror-ball trophy.
"We're going to take it up a notch [next] year, we're going to do something different this fall -- an all-stars edition of Dancing with the Stars and we're going to be bringing back fan favorites from the last fourteen seasons," ABC Entertainment president Paul Lee told reporters during a Tuesday conference call in which he announced ABC's 2012-2013 primetime schedule.
"We can't talk about the casting yet, but I would love to see some of the fan favorites from the last seasons come back and we've had many favorites over the fourteen seasons that we've got, so fingers crossed! We're out casting now, and I hope we come back with a really interesting cast of people who our audience is passionate about."
In addition to the all-stars format, ABC also announced Dancing with the Stars' fifteenth-season performance shows will air in the show's current Mondays 8-10PM ET/PT timeslot but Tuesday night's results show will move from the current 9-10PM ET/PT time period to the earlier 8-9PM ET/PT timeslot.
Reports that ABC was planning an all-stars edition of Dancing with the Stars had first surfaced when Extra host and former third-season participant Mario Lopez unintentionally revealed the news while guest co-hosting Live with Kelly! with Kelly Ripa last month.
"You know what Kelly, they're having a Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars this next season, and they called me to do it," Lopez told Ripa on April 25. . "Are you going to do it?" Ripa asked.
"I'd love to do it, but it's so..." Lopez began before Ripa interrupted to insist he had to do it and declare him "the best non-professional dancer I've ever seen."
"Oh, thank you," Lopez replied.
ABC had declined to comment on Lopez's comments afterwards, however a show source had told Reality TV World Lopez's comments were premature.
Both Us Weekly and TV Guide subsequently reported that the all-stars edition will not feature any prior winners.
"No winners, just finalists," an insider told Us.
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In addition to Lopez, former contestants Melanie Brown, Sabrina Bryan, Chelsea Kane, Gilles Marini, and Kyle Massey are among the celebrities who may compete on the all-stars edition, according to Us and TV Guide.