The major house-cleaning at "Dancing with the Stars" continues: Brooke Burke-Charvet is out as co-host and Erin Andrews is in. Here's the official line:
Erin Andrews joins “Dancing with the Stars” as host alongside Emmy-Award Winner Tom Bergeron for its 18th season premiering March 17. No stranger to the ballroom, Andrews competed on the 10th season of “Dancing with the Stars” making it all the way to the finals. Known for being a pioneer in sports broadcasting, Andrews’s skills from the field are sure to be an asset in hosting a spirited dance competition.
Ray Chew, formerly the music man behind "American Idol," was also made official -- "DWTS" actually confirmed him a couple of weeks ago. He replaces longtime "DWTS" band leader, Harold Wheeler. This season, the show also welcomes new Music Director and Composer Ray Chew to the ballroom. Continuing a tradition of live musical accompaniment, Chew’s band will feature a new line-up of musicians and singers performing music ranging from the latest pop hits to the great standards of the past.
What's going on here? Well, if you prefer euphemisms, the words "freshening up" will do. If you prefer the more accurate "reasonably major overhaul," that will as well. "DWTS" is simply no longer what it was - no longer a cultural phenom, no longer a huge ratings draw, and no longer a news event (the cast will be announced tomorrow by the way) The audience is aging and ABC is heck-bent on "youthifying" it.