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ABC 'disappointed' in 'Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars' performance

Jan. 10, 2013 at 3:17 PM ET

Adam Taylor / ABC /
The mirror ball trophy for "Dancing With the Stars: All Stars" season.

PASADENA, Calif. -- It's no secret that "Dancing With the Stars: All-Stars" didn't do as well in the ratings as previous seasons, and it's something that ABC is willing to admit.

"We were disappointed not to see the all-stars for 'Dancing' do as strongly as we would have liked," Paul Lee, president of ABC Entertainment, admitted to reporters Thursday at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour in Pasadena, Calif. "Turns out people like to see bad dancing as much as they do good dancing!"

Bringing an all-star cast back denied viewers much of that "bad dancing," since everyone had participated before, and at least one contestant (Sabrina Bryan) had been keeping her ballroom moves sharp by performing in "Dancing's" live Las Vegas show.

"Clearly people love to see the journey as much as they love the competition, and if you pick only the winners, for which I take responsibility, they’re all going to be great dancers," said Lee. "We can all remember many series of 'Dancing' where you’ve had people surprise you, you never thought they could do it. You’ve had people lose weight and suddenly turn out to be the fittest people as we got to the end of the series. So people want to see the journey, and that’s something that we’ve done very very well in each season, some better than others."

To bring that journey of growth back to the ballroom, Lee said the show will focus on the new celebrity cast.

"We absolutely are going to be casting it the way we normally do," he told The Clicker. "We’re going to look for a good cast as we go through (the casting process)."

Another issue with the all-star season was that it skewed a little older in terms of audience, something that Lee thinks can be resolved with the casting as well.

"I did think the all stars made it a little bit older," he said. "I think we have the ability for casting fresh, to bring in younger audiences again."

After the all-star season ended, reports surfaced that changes were likely coming to bring the shine back to the ballroom bash, including the twice-a-year competition possibly airing just one cycle per year. Lee shot that rumor down, saying the show would still air two seasons per year.

"We believe passionately in that franchise," he said, and later added, "We think it’s going to revitalize itself."

What do you think was the biggest issue with "DWTS: All-Stars"? And if the show is going to cast younger, who would you like to see on the next season? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page!

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