Plans are afoot for season 12 of “Dancing With the Stars” and ABC is going to do its best to top its season 11 headline-raising casting of Bristol Palin.
“We always try to bring new tones and new takes,” ABC Entertainment Group President Paul Lee, told a small group of reporters at the ABC portion of the Television Critics Association Winter 2011 session in Pasadena, Calif., on Monday. “We will have something different; we won’t have Bristol Palin.”
Lee said ABC is in the middle of securing the next crop of names for their top rated reality dancing competition, but nothing was set yet for the show, which returns in March 2011.
“We have not cast yet, and we’re right in the middle and we don’t usually talk about who we’re pursuing, but obviously we’re gonna look for a really interesting cast like we did last time,” he said.
While casting is still taking place, it is unlikely at this point that “Dancing” will pair up two people of the same-sex as has been suggested in several online reports, something which recently happened on the Israeli version of the franchise.
“Not decided, not there,” Lee said when asked if “DWTS” might feature a same-sex ballroom pair.
“In general, across the network, representing the lesbian and gay community is a fantastic thing,” he added, but noted there are “no initial plans” for two men or two women to dance together on the celebrity reality dance show.
As previously reported on AccessHollywood.com, “American Idol” moved from Tuesdays and Wednesdays to Wednesdays and Thursdays for its Season 10, a move many suspect had to do with the increasing success of “Dancing with the Stars.”
“We’ll see, it’s not for me to see how they go,” Lee, who became ABC’s Entertainment Group President last summer, said when asked about the “Idol” move. “Clearly they have strength with ‘Glee,’ but you know what? ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ when you looked at the Fall at least, was the No. 1 most watched reality show, so I felt pretty lucky to come in on a show that was capturing the passion of the country.
“People were throwing things at their television screens. I don’t remember that happening when I [worked] on BBC America,” he added.