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Thread: DWTS 18 (premieres Mon Mar 17th) - News and Speculation

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    Magical Elf MFWalkoff's Avatar
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    DWTS 18 (premieres Mon Mar 17th) - News and Speculation

    This hasn't hit the mainstream media yet, but a composer friend posted on Facebook: the American Federation of Musicians posted an alert for members on their FB page that ABC is firing the live band, and going with pre-recorded music and a small "electronic band" instead.

    I can't repost the Facebook article since you need to join their page to view it, but thankfully someone wrote up an article on the examiner website (normally an unreliable source, but in this case the perfect tool until the rest of the media catches on):

    'DWTS' 2014 rumors: Harold Wheeler Orchestra axed from season 18?

    Sherry Wight, Bay Area Reality TV Examiner
    February 1, 2014

    When "Dancing with the Stars" 2014 premieres March 17 on ABC, the Harold Wheeler Orchestra won't be on hand to usher in the festivities, according to a Jan. 31 Facebook post by lead trumpet player Rick Baptist.

    According to Baptist, on Jan. 30, Wheeler informed members of his orchestra, which served as a fixture on the hit reality dance competition since the show's inception in 2005, that they'd been replaced by "records and a small electronic band" for the show's upcoming 18th season.

    The move was allegedly made by "DWTS" producers in an attempt to "attract a younger demographic."

    Baptist, who also worked on "Ratatouille" and "The Incredibles," asked that fans concerned over the orchestra's removal contact Candice.A.Ashton@abc.com with ABC entertainment to share their sentiments.

    Show fans took to Twitter to share their opinions on the orchestra's ouster. User @LondonAftrMidn mused over the real reason behind the change and predicted trouble in the future, writing "No more Harold Wheeler Orch. A futile attempt at attracting a younger demo or a cost-saving measure? #SinkingShip"

    User @KathyErdman2 expressed her sentiments bluntly, tweeting the network "@DancingABC How could you replace Harold Wheeler & his awesome orchestra! BIG MISTAKE!! #DWTS"

    With or without live music, "Dancing with the Stars" 2014 premieres March 17 on ABC with an all new cast of celebrity mirror ball trophy hopefuls.
    Way to bury the show for good, ABC. Sigh.
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    Re: Dancing With The Stars 18 (premieres Mar 18th) - News and Speculation

    I have mixed feelings about that move. With a lot of songs, I always thought the bands rendition was bad, and could even be distracting. I would also guess it will help performers to practice with the music they will dance to. At the same time, the band is definitely part of the personality of the show. Clearly, the producers don't understand that if they cast good stars and let them perform without a lot of producer created stories then people will watch.

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    Re: Dancing With The Stars 18 (premieres Mar 18th) - News and Speculation

    They have spent a ton of money on the room and the dance floor. Tom and Brook are dressed in evening wear. Even though we sometimes debate whether the costuming is flattering or even decent, by the time the cost of the labor and the material is thrown in, those costumes are not cheap. The expenses to pay the celebrities, plus Tom, and Brook are significant. A lot of people have complained about a lot of the music from the band a lot of the time....but at least it was live. Live music in those circumstances is simply the more elegant, classy, and correct option for the setting of the show.
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    Re: Dancing With The Stars 18 (premieres Mar 18th) - News and Speculation

    This show is slowly going down hill. I don't even care who is dancing anymore
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    Re: Dancing With The Stars 18 (premieres Mar 18th) - News and Speculation

    "records and a small electronic band"
    Records? As in vinyl? Those things people used to play on record players?
    Yep, way to attract younger viewers. Maybe they can get an old record player with a bad needle that skips.
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    Magical Elf MFWalkoff's Avatar
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    Re: Dancing With The Stars 18 (premieres Mar 18th) - News and Speculation

    To me, the band was never the problem in all the bad renditions of contemporary pop songs -- it was those dang singers. The band is super-tight, and essential to the elegant environment that the show tries to project.

    They will never have the younger viewers. It amazes me how a network can't be satisfied with 15 million viewers a week, when most shows can't scrape half that number together. This obsession with younger viewers is outdated for a couple of reasons. One, young people watch less TV now in general, and if they do, they don't watch shows when they first air. They watch it on the internet when it's convenient. Two, baby boomers have always been the biggest and most attractive source of ad revenue, because they represent such a huge chunk of the population. Well, they are in their 50s-60s now. Deal with it, networks. Let cable have the kids.
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    FORT Fogey Miss Scarlet's Avatar
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    Re: Dancing With The Stars 18 (premieres Mar 18th) - News and Speculation


    I agree about young people vs baby boomers being a desirable demographic. For some reason they seem to think that the young have more expendable money. Wrong!

    At this point, baby boomers are 50-early 60's. Kids are grown & gone or nearly so, house is paid off, some in early retirement. More free time & less expense thanks to these things. And still using traditional technology. All this adds up to more money, more time to watch TV, & more time and ability to shop & buy luxuries, both big & small.

    The 18-29's are just starting their careers, if that. Many still getting their education or just finishing & with that tuition bills. Many if not most are renting, making payments on vehicles & many have young children they are trying to support. All that adds up to not nearly as much expendable money.

    Those on the younger end of that: 16-21, are still getting a lot of their spending money from, guess who? The baby boomers! Or slightly younger. Yep, the ones with the expendable money.

    Why the network executives don't see this is completely beyond me.
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    Re: Dancing With The Stars 18 (premieres Mar 18th) - News and Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by Miss Scarlet View Post

    I agree about young people vs baby boomers being a desirable demographic. For some reason they seem to think that the young have more expendable money. Wrong!

    At this point, baby boomers are 50-early 60's. Kids are grown & gone or nearly so, house is paid off, some in early retirement. More free time & less expense thanks to these things. And still using traditional technology. All this adds up to more money, more time to watch TV, & more time and ability to shop & buy luxuries, both big & small.

    The 18-29's are just starting their careers, if that. Many still getting their education or just finishing & with that tuition bills. Many if not most are renting, making payments on vehicles & many have young children they are trying to support. All that adds up to not nearly as much expendable money.

    Those on the younger end of that: 16-21, are still getting a lot of their spending money from, guess who? The baby boomers! Or slightly younger. Yep, the ones with the expendable money.

    Why the network executives don't see this is completely beyond me.
    You described me perfectly, early 60's, kids grown & gone, house paid off, retired......and I have never missed an episode of DWTS in 17 seasons & I have it all on tape. Occasionally I get out an old season & rewatch it. You are right about the baby boomers having more expendable cash to spend. Maybe they are looking for younger viewers, which is not going to happen, because they want different advertisers selling products for the younger generation. My 27 year old daughter watches on occasion, but she has a full time job & on the run all the time & has to little ones to chase around. My son could care less about DWTS. Getting rid of the live band is not going to change anything, except save DWTS money. The Live band gives the show a classy feel, so I don't know how using tapes is going to help they show. Their biggest problem is getting some real stars to be on the show. When the show begins, I usually am familiar with maybe 3 or 4 members of the cast & the rest I have never heard of. The younger crowd probably know who they are, but they are obviously not watching. If that doesn't hook them in, changing the band certainly won't.

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    Re: Dancing With The Stars 18 (premieres Mar 18th) - News and Speculation

    Quote Originally Posted by n4692u View Post
    You described me perfectly, early 60's, kids grown & gone, house paid off, retired......and I have never missed an episode of DWTS in 17 seasons & I have it all on tape. Occasionally I get out an old season & rewatch it. You are right about the baby boomers having more expendable cash to spend. Maybe they are looking for younger viewers, which is not going to happen, because they want different advertisers selling products for the younger generation. My 27 year old daughter watches on occasion, but she has a full time job & on the run all the time & has to little ones to chase around. My son could care less about DWTS. Getting rid of the live band is not going to change anything, except save DWTS money. The Live band gives the show a classy feel, so I don't know how using tapes is going to help they show. Their biggest problem is getting some real stars to be on the show. When the show begins, I usually am familiar with maybe 3 or 4 members of the cast & the rest I have never heard of. The younger crowd probably know who they are, but they are obviously not watching. If that doesn't hook them in, changing the band certainly won't.
    So You Think You Can Dance does not have a live band, and it works for them with their judges and hostess dressed formerly. The DWTS producers may have looked at this show and may have thought if their SYTYCD contestants could dance to recorded music, then so could the DWTS celebrities. However, there are some very major differences here, and they contribute to the FEEL of the show. It works for So You Think You Can Dance because (1) the dancers are competiting on a stage - it looks like a very deep stage in a big auditorium type room (2) whereas the DWTS audience appears to have adults of all ages, and a good many of them are 30 and way older, the audience for So You Think You Can Dance appears to me by far to be just the opposite. They are young. It is not that they aren't polite when the contestants are performing because they usually are, but they are more shall we say enthusiastic? and vocal, especially when they think someone is "hot", etc., then you see on DWTS. It is just a different vibe. The dancing and competition are fierce and fabulous, but I would not call much about SYTYCD elegant like I do DWTS to date.
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    Re: Dancing With The Stars 18 (premieres Mar 18th) - News and Speculation

    I read an article not too long ago that explained why advertisers focus on the younger audience instead of baby boomers. From what I remember, the basic explanation is that younger people are more likely to try new things. Baby boomers are considered to be more set in their ways, knowing which brands they trust, which ones they don't, and what they will try. So even though most people in their 50s and 60s have more disposable income, they are less likely to be persuaded by advertising. The same article said it is changing the ways marketing is done, because while 18-30 year olds may be more open to new brands, they are less likely to watch and trust commercials. So they are coming up with all sorts of new ways to reach them. If i can find it, I'll try to figure out how to share it here. But it does explain why networks change shows to try to get the young people.

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