Get an Inside Look at the Changes Coming to Dancing with the Stars Ahead of Season 29 Premiere

Dancing with the Stars is undergoing a major revamp for its 29th season.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the ABC dance competition series has taken precautions to keep the pro dancers, celebrity contestants, and judges safe for the new season, which premieres on Monday.

According to Good Morning America, the show will debut a "whole new set," which does not include a live audience. The big group numbers will also be "reimagined" due to the pandemic.

"The fact that we're losing some of the big production kind of sounds a bit scary, but truth is what it does is it puts the focus back on the couple," executive producer Andrew Llinares told GMA Wednesday morning.

In order to keep distance between the cast and crew, the pro dancers and their celebrity partners will be filming themselves during their rehearsals.

"It is literally just the couple in the room, they couldn't be safer," Llinares said.

The stars have all been relocated to Los Angeles, and the cast and crew have to undergo daily health screenings and COVID-19 tests five times a week, GMA reported.

Plus, married pros like Jenna Johnson and Val Chmerkovskiy, Emma Slater and Sasha Farber, and Pasha Pashkov and first-time pro Daniella Karagach all have to live apart from each other during filming.

The show is also introducing Tyra Banks as the new host and an executive producer, while the judges table will consist of Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, and former pro Derek Hough, all of whom will sit distanced from one another.

Longtime head judge Len Goodman is unable to judge this season live in the ballroom because he is isolating in England.

"Len is still going to be part of the show," Llinares promised. "He won't be with us in person, but he will be with us in different ways coming from the U.K."

In July 2020, ABC and BBC Studios announced that longtime host Tom Bergeron and co-host Erin Andrews would be departing the hit dancing competition.

Just one day after the news of their exits broke, it was announced that Banks, 46, would be joining the show as the host and executive producer. Banks' new role marks the first time DWTS has brought on a Black female solo host.

Hough, who last appeared on DWTS as a pro during season 23, announced Tuesday on GMA that he would be joining the judges. Hough, 35, has won six Mirrorball Trophies, the most of any pro.

We're supposed to be eight feet apart from each other at the judges' desk, so that's going to be a long desk," Hough told PEOPLE. "Bruno and I are very similar in the way I move my body. It's probably good that we're not next to each other, because it would have been a hazard. Poor Carrie Ann would've been dodging arms everywhere."


The season 29 cast was revealed on GMA last week.

The celebrities who will be competing in the ballroom are as follows: former Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe, Backstreet Boys' AJ McLean, Tiger King star Carole Baskin, Selling Sunset's Chrishell Stause, former NFL player Vernon Davis, actor Jesse Metcalfe, Monica Aldama (head coach from Netflix's Cheer), Anne Heche, Skai Jackson, One Day at a Time actress Justina Machado, The Real host Jeannie Mai, Grammy Award-winning rapper Nelly, Catfish host Nev Schulman, NBA superstar Charles Oakley, and Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir.

DWTS premieres Sept. 14 at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.

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