Each season, a beautiful new frame is put on the celebrity-competition masterpiece that is known as Dancing with the Stars. According to executive producer Conrad Green, the DWTS showrunner from the beginning, each season gets a fresh look “although we want to keep ninety-percent of the show continuous, because the core of the ballroom dance competition works well. We just want each season to reflect a slightly different flavor.”
Familiar faces will add the new flavor for the BBC Worldwide Production when it returns for its 15th season, Sept. 24 on ABC. For the first time past contestants will have another chance at winning during the Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars season.
The drive to keep things competitive and exciting while offering great production values is what has earned the show seven nominations for this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards. Green says the nod for Outstanding Reality-Competition program (for the seventh consecutive year) is “enormously satisfying because it makes you feel that people understand the quality and intensity of the work you do, and it is worthy of merit.”
To do three hours of live television each week, which includes an unbelievable workload of different set ups, with attention to the intricate detail and quality of the show, and do that for 20 weeks of the year every year is incredible. “I can’t think of another live TV effort of that intensity and volume,” Conrad explains while adding that live shows have greater difficulty than taped competitions. “It’s a different production technique, with no room for error.”
For DWTS Tom Bergeron got a well-deserved nomination for his hosting duties, and the other nominated categories are for Choreography; Hairstyling; Makeup; Lighting Direction; and Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video Control for a series. With a total of 68 nominations, DWTS cameraman Hector Ramirez now holds the record for the most nominations for an individual in Emmy history. In the future, Conrad has hopes for the Emmys to recognize his director Alex Rudzinski “for all his extraordinary work.”
Green reveals that DWTS has never been complacent because “we’ve always been a little bit behind some of our competitors in the ratings. That hunger to get to the top spot drives us to keep things fresh and give the audience a sense of anticipation.”
It’s not easy to make every show feel like a special event “but that’s what we try to do. It’s been exciting to add theme nights to keep our dancers and our production team on their toes,” says Green. “It’s about dance, but we also want to put on a spectacle. We want to create something that the whole family can enjoy watching together. Maybe they will argue about it, but that’s OK, because we’ve given them something to feel passionate about.”
If the Emmys come their way, DWTS will not rest on its laurels. Green says, “We’ll always strive to make the best show on the air that represents a new golden age of television.”