Is 'Dancing With the Stars' Returning for Season 30? It Sounds Like It!

Kristyn Burtt

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Photo credit: ABC/Eric McCandless.

The 29th season of "Dancing With the Stars" concluded only a week ago, but that's not stopping people from discussing season 30. The next season of the reality competition show wouldn't even happen until Fall 2021, but fans are eager to know if their favorite series is coming back.

Well, it looks like their wishes are coming true and the show has already been picked up for a 30th season, according to pro Cheryl Burke on her podcast, "Pretty Messed Up." She drops the news — not just once, but twice — during her latest episode with co-host AJ McLean.

"I just finished my 23rd season with 'Dancing With the Stars,' but it got an official pick-up for Season 30 — which is awesome," she says confidently at the beginning of the episode. What? Record scratch, the show is coming back!

ABC still hasn't publicly confirmed the news, but Burke doubled down on the season 30 pick-up orders later in the podcast during her interview with fellow pro Jenna Johnson.

"Who knows how many more seasons of 'Dancing With the Stars' there will be," wondered Johnson.

"Well, you have next season, Season 30, that's picked up," Burke chimed in.

"I'd love to do season 30 and then take it from there," responded Johnson about where she sees her dance career going.

That has to be music to the viewers' ears because the show has been on shaky ground for the past few seasons. However, season 29 came back with renewed energy and solid ratings — despite COVID-19 restrictions. Can ABC repeat that success next year or did the pandemic contribute to "Dancing With the Stars'" achievements this season?

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Derek Hough

ABC is definitely in the business of Derek Hough. They are using him for a number of holiday specials this year and they signed him to a production deal that encompasses "host[ing] and develop[ing] specials and entertainment programming" for the broadcast network. As long as "Dancing With the Stars" is around, Hough will most likely be on that judging panel. Executive producer and host Tyra Banks is a big fan, too.

“Derek is so fantastic,” Banks told TV Insider. “He has such compassion. He gives the most amazing critiques. He’s firm, yet warm. I think he did a really fantastic job." The leaves a big question mark for the return of head judge Len Goodman, who had notable cameos this season, but was grounded in the U.K. due to travel restrictions.

Banks promises that she does "miss Len" and that she has an idea to have them both on the show next season. "I have a little notepad in my phone on how I can make that work, but I’ve got to get that approved by the team," she explained.

Tyra Banks

It wasn't the easiest season for Banks — she had to win longtime viewers over, who were downright pissed off that America's favorite host Tom Bergeron was let go. It took weeks before she found a rhythm on the show, but don't get your hopes up that ABC is letting her go. In addition to a production deal with the network, fellow executive producer Andrew Llinares thinks she brought new fans to the table.

Llinares believes that using one host versus two — Bergeron and co-host Erin Andrews — is "brilliant."

“I think it’s really refreshed the pace of the show,” Llinares shared to TV Line in September. “There’s a real danger when a show’s been on for a long time, that the audience almost gets bored of the rhythm of it. It’s changed the rhythm of the show in a really exciting way. Tyra’s doing an amazing, amazing job.”

For all of Banks' critics, expect to see the supermodel back for season 30 whether they like it or not.

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Cast

If there's one thing "Dancing With the Stars" can truly brag about is the star wattage of the season 29 cast. It had more recognizable names than viewers have seen in many years. From actors, musicians and newsmakers, every box was checked when it came to casting. Yet many of the contestants admitted their participation hinged on the ongoing pandemic — they were available because nothing was going on.

Rapper Nelly, who has been honest about everything in his "Dancing With the Stars'" journey, told "Entertainment Tonight" that the show was "harder than anything" he's ever done. "It's every day, several hours a day, and it's one of those things where I don't know if I would have been able to do it if it wasn't for COVID-19. Like, if it wasn't a [pandemic] situation, I don't know if my schedule would have allowed me to do it up to a certain point," he admits.

AJ McLean revealed it was a similar situation for him because the shutdown took him off the road with the Backstreet Boys. He's been asked to do the show multiple times before, but his schedule wouldn't allow for it. “Because of the state of the world, there’s not a lot going on, but people want to see positive TV, see inspirational things, things that bring you joy when you’re stuck at home, and shows like ‘Dancing with the Stars’ do that,” he said to the Orlando Sentinel.

With the promise of a COVID-19 vaccine on the horizon and the possibility that life will return to normal(ish) next fall, it's a big question mark if lightning can strike twice with a big-name cast for "Dancing With the Stars."

What does look brighter is the show is looking good for a season 30 return, thanks to Burke's confident podcast statements and Banks' plans for the show. It would be a monumental benchmark for the show that started in 2005, and of course, Banks is already planning ways to mark the big occasion.

"There is something beautiful about doing a retrospect, when you hit a milestone year. At the same time, there are so many new viewers this season, and a retrospect may not resonate with them," she revealed to TV Insider.

Banks promised it wouldn't be too insider "where the new people don’t know what the heck is going on," she's hoping season 30 will hit all of the right notes for new and longtime fans. We can't wait!

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Kristyn Burtt is a commercial dance journalist, TV host and producer. She was the West Coast correspondent and host of "To the Pointe" on Dance Network for five years. Her coverage of "So You Think You Can Dance," "Dancing With the Stars" and "World of Dance" is popular with dance fans across the globe. Kristyn's love of dance began early in her life. She trained at the Boston Ballet School, danced with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre in "The Nutcracker" and won a dance scholarship to New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. She currently serves on the American Dance Movement’s Marketing & PR Committee and is a member of the Television Academy and SAG-AFTRA.

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