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Image: J.R. Martinez, Karina Smirnoff
Adam Taylor  /  ABC
J.R. Martinez and Karina Smirnoff won season 13 of "Dancing With the Stars."
By
Hollywood Reporter
updated 1/10/2012 3:04:23 PM ET 2012-01-10T20:04:23

Given the ratings dip of the recent run of "Dancing With the Stars" and the frequent mockery of the series' definition of "celebrity," it's natural to wonder what kind of future the reality flagship has on ABC.

"I personally think 'Dancing With the Stars' has many many more years to come," ABC Entertainment Group president Paul Lee told reporters at the Television Critics Association winter press tour. "That show refreshes itself."

The refreshing he speaks of depends entirely on casting, something Lee noted the series isn't always consistent about.

"Obviously each year the casting kind of tells you where it [will] come out," said Lee. "We thought we started with a weaker cast this year, and then look what J.R. [Martinez] did."

The biggest unknown of the cast did go on to win the Season 13 trophy and has since enjoyed a healthy run in the media spotlight by the show's standards. It's that kind of surprise, Lee noted, and the different types of "star" that can win favor with viewers that has kept the network invested in the series.

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"Sometimes its controversial, like Bristol Palin, sometimes it's somebody who brings a nostalgic element," said Lee, "and sometimes its someone people just love — like Kirstie Alley."

So many seasons in, Lee also tried to convince the crowd to have some perspective on the type of talent they're able to recruit.

"When you look back at the early seasons," said the level of celebrity isn't what it is now."

Which season of "Dancing" do you think had the worst cast? Share your opinion on the Facebook page for our TV blog, The Clicker!

Copyright 2012 The Hollywood Reporter

Photos: Season 16

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  1. Call the fashion police!

    "Dancing With the Stars" is known for its lively judges, sexy dancers, and of course, its sometimes questionable costumes. Check out some of our favorite odd outfits from the season, and why they may have been better off left in the dressing rooms. -- Anna Chan

    On March 25, Wynonna Judd and pro partner Tony Dovolani donned cop costumes for a sad quickstep that was slower than molasses. Oddly enough, judge Bruno Tonioli "loved the bonkers cop idea." We're not so sure "Fashion Police" boss Joan Rivers would agree. (Adam Taylor / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Throw them a life saver!

    "Bachelor" Sean Lowe and pro Peta Murgatroyd offered up a sloppy jive that left the judges wanting on March 25. But their matchy-matchy yellow outfits only sank them further. Granted, Peta can pull off pretty much any atrocity, but Sean? What's up with those lemon yellow pajama bottoms? Don't lifeguards wear swim trunks? (Adam Taylor / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Stayin' alive

    Head judge Len Goodman got into the theme on April 1 when "DWTS" went back to the prom. Ruffled shirts were never hot, so why not make them hot pink? (Hey, we all know the costume department doesn't always choose the best colors.) (Adam Taylor / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Pretty in pink

    Oh, the hair! The one glove! The pink bows on her dress! Co-host Brooke Burke has looked nothing but stunning all season (a surprise, as her wardrobe in the past has been rather questionable). Yet during prom week, she let go of the glam. We'll forgive her this one and only fashion faux pas of the season. (Adam Taylor / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Going to the Y

    While the rest of the "DWTS" cast went to the prom on April 1, Peta and Sean somehow missed the memo and went to the YMCA instead as the Village People. (Adam Taylor / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Prom? So what?

    Every prom has them: the anti-prom kids who are too cool for school. For the "DWTS" bash, that was Wynonna and Tony, who got all rockered out. Normally, we wouldn't take issue with this, but Tony! The mullet! Really?!?!? It's almost as bad as Maksim Chmerkovskiy's Mick Jagger wig from last season! (Nice boots, though.) (Adam Taylor / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. She's golden

    As gorgeous as Peta is, even she couldn't quite pull off those questionable gold bell bottoms and giant hair when she and Sean danced a highly praised quickstep on April 15. (Adam Taylor / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Let's boogie!

    On April 22, Team Samba (or as Andy Dick preferred to call it, Team Pickler Dick) took the the ballroom bash with a '70s-themed dance complete with the decade's questionable fashions. Among the low lights? The guys' creepy mustaches. (Adam Taylor / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Not so easy on the eyes

    On Latin Night April 29, Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman and pro partner Mark Ballas took on a salsa that had the judges raving. What the panel didn't rave about were the seasick green/blue getups both wore. (Adam Taylor / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. A little young?

    On May 6, Aly and pro partner Mark were joined by Henry Byalikov for a trio jive full of shimmies and shakes for the 18-year-old gymnast -- and also a saucy red garter. Not that we're prudes, but did we mention yet that Aly's only 18? (Adam Taylor / ABC) Back to slideshow navigation
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  1. LOUIE ANDERSON, KATHERINE WEBB, WYNONNA JUDD, TONY DOVOLANI
    Adam Taylor / ABC
    Above: Slideshow (10) Worst 'DWTS' season 13 costumes - Season 16
  2. APOLO ANTON OHNO, KARINA SMIRNOFF
    Adam Taylor / ABC
    Slideshow (14) Worst 'DWTS' season 13 costumes - All-Stars
  3. TOM BERGERON, ANNA TREBUNSKAYA, JACK WAGNER
    Adam Taylor / ABC
    Slideshow (17) Worst 'DWTS' season 13 costumes - Season 14
  4. Image: Cheryl Burke, Rob Kardashian
    Adam Taylor / ABC
    Slideshow (16) Worst 'DWTS' season 13 costumes - Season 13
  5. Image: Chelsea Kane and Mark Ballas
    Adam Taylor / ABC
    Slideshow (14) Worst 'DWTS' season 13 costumes - Season 12
  6. KYLE MASSEY, LACEY SCHWIMMER
    Adam Larkey / ABC
    Slideshow (13) Worst 'DWTS' season 13 costumes - Season 11
  1. ASHLY COSTA, BUZZ ALDRIN
    Adam Larkey / ABC
    Slideshow (19) Worst 'DWTS' season 13 costumes - Season 10
  2. ABC
    Slideshow (27) Worst 'DWTS' season 13 costumes - Season 9
  3. Image: "Dancing With the Stars" season 13 cast
    Adam Taylor / ABC
    Slideshow (14) 'Dancing With the Stars' season 13 cast