Dancing With The Stars: 'People Like To See Bad Dancing As Much As They Do Good,' ABC Exec Says

Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Kirstie Alley perform on the 'Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars' Season finale, Nov. 27, 2012 Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Kirstie Alley perform on the 'Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars' Season finale, Nov. 27, 2012

ABC learned a big lesson from the “All-Star” season of “Dancing with the Stars,” following the drop in ratings in Season 15 – bad dancers rule!

“Turns out people like to see bad dancing as much as they do good dancing,” ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee told reporters at the network’s portion of the Television Critics Association Winter Session 2013 in Pasadena, on Thursday. “But we believe passionately in that franchise.”

In order to help turn the viewer numbers – which ranged between 11 and 16 million throughout the season (by contrast, Season 14 drew in a 13-18 million range) around, Lee hinted they need to find celebs who have the potential to go on a “journey” over the course of the season.

“What I meant by that is clearly people love to see the journey as much as they love to see the competition and if you pick only the winners, for which I take responsibility, they’re all gonna be great dancers,” Lee said after the session, in response to a question from AccessHollywood.com. “We can all remember many series of dancing where you’ve had people surprise you. You never thought they could do it. You’ve had people lose weight and suddenly turn out to be the fittest people as we got to the end of the series, so people want to see the journey and that’s something that we’ve done very, very well in each season — some better than others-- and we’ll be able to do that just by going back to our normal way of casting.”

Lee admitted ABC was “disappointed” by the numbers, but told reporters he thinks they can reinvigorate the fan base.

“We’ve got a fairly good base to start there with and yeah, we think it’s gonna revitalize itself,” he said.

“Dancing with the Stars” returns for Season 16 this March, on ABC.

-- Jolie Lash

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