More than a year after his firing, former Dancing With the Stars host Tom Bergeron is opening up about his final days on the ABC dancing competition. Bergeron, along with co-host Erin Andrews, was axed from the series in July 2020 as the network looked to "embark on a new creative direction" with the long-running series, which Bergeron had hosted since its inception in 2005. As his time on DWTS neared its end, however, Bergeron admitted it became an "unpleasant" experience.
Reflecting on his abrupt exit from the show during a recent appearance on the Bob Saget's Here for You podcast, Bergeron revealed that "the show that I left was not the show that I loved," explaining that by the end of Season 28, his final season before Tyra Banks took over as host, he "kind of knew" ABC was prepping to let him go. Bergeron said he was so confident in this belief that he "took everything out of my dressing room that I really wanted." He added that he "wasn't surprised that that was my last season, so there was no blue period. Actually, I think Erin and I had more fun being fired than virtually anybody."
While Bergeron said his overall experience hosting Dancing With the Stars was a positive one, personnel changes in recent years led to some conflict, and in the end, he didn't "see eye-to-eye" with producers on how to best present the show. Bergeron explained that behind-the-scenes, they "were kind of butting heads." Bergeron was vocal about being disappointed after Donald Trump's former press secretary Sean Spicer was cast for Season 28 in 2019.
"They're entitled to do the show the way they think is best. And so I look back at the time I spent there with really great fondness for the vast majority of it," Bergeron continued. "And also there are people there on the show performing that I still care about, and I want them to have long careers. I want people to still watch it and support them and understand that sure, it's different. But, you know, there's still very talented people who were going to be on your screens."
As Dancing With the Stars continues its second season without Bergeron as host, with new episodes airing Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC, Bergeron is moving forward with his career. Despite fans still calling for the network to bring him back as host, Bergeron has stated on numerous occasions that he has no plans to return to DWTS. Instead, he is landing other roles, in September announcing that he is set to host a new take on Tic-Tac-Dough that is in the works at NBCUniversal. Bergeron and former Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! executive producer Harry Friedman teamed up for the project.