Dancing With the Stars returns on Monday night, much top fans' excitement, and it will also be bringing back a previous major aspect of the show that's been missing. While speaking with Variety about the new season of the hit competition series, executive producer Conrad Green revealed that the skybox will be utilized once again. This hightop space where the hosts can speak with guests and contestants was part of the show for years, but had not been part of the show in the past few seasons.
This season, the skybox will be an area for new co-host Alfonso Ribeiro — who joins current host Tyra Banks — to fill time while the stage crew and producers are resetting the stage between performances. "We definitely needed to bring back an area of the set so that we can clear the stage and actually move stuff around," Green says. "So we brought back the skybox, and that meant bringing in a co-host as well. Alfonso is such a great addition to the team. He's a former champion on the show, but he's really passionate about it. He's friends with a lot of the dancers, he really understands what makes the show tick and he brings humor to it and genuine interest in the celebrities and their journeys."
This brings up another question, regarding the time where there previously had been ads, since the show will not have those now that it's moved to Disney+. "What we're going to do is use what would have been traditional ad breaks as a way to create more programming and to further engage our audience," explained Michael Paull, president, direct to consumer, Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution. "So it's a pretty exciting task for the team, because it's a very different format than what it had been historically. And I think people are going to be really excited by some of the ideas that they came up with to complete the story on the shows."
The Dancing With The Stars Season 31 contestants include actor Joseph Baena, actor Selma Blair, comedian Wayne Brady, weather anchor Sam Champion, as well as Charli D'Amelio and Heidi D'Amelio (The D'Amelio Show). Country star Jessie James Decker is also competing, as are TV star Trevor Donovan, Daniel Durant (CODA), Teresa Giudice (The Real Housewives of New Jersey), Vinny Guadagnino (Jersey Shore), Charlie's Angels star Cheryl Ladd, Jason Lewis (Sex and the City). Finally, the contest list is rounded out by drag queen star Shangela, singer Jordin Sparks and Gabby Windey (The Bachelorette). Dancing With the Stars Season 31 premieres on Monday, Sept. 19 at 8 p.m. ET only on Disney+.