‘Dancing With the Stars’ Showrunner Spills Special Guests, Theme Nights, and Huge Changes for Season 31

After a splashy season 31 debut, Dancing with the Stars seems poised to reclaim its reality tv crown. The series began its newest installment with dances to songs that made them move on the dance floor. Showrunner Conrad Green revealed that fans could expect lots of surprises as the weeks of completion roll on, including some special guests and theme nights that will make season 31 both fun-filled and entertaining.

The complete cast of 'Dancing with the Stars' fronted by Tyra Bans and Alfonso Ribeiro for the season 31 premiere had some big changes.
‘Dancing with the Stars’ complete starting cast of season 31 | ABC/Eric McCandless

Season 31 began with a bang

The season premiere of Dancing with the Stars featured one of its most extensive groups of celebrities and professional partners.

The cast includes The Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice with partner Pasha Pashkov, actor and comedian Wayne Brady with partner Witney Carson, actor Selma Blair with partner Sasha Farber, Joseph Baena with partner Daniella Karagach, and Jersey Shore star Vinny Guadagnino with partner Koko Iwasaki.

Also joining the cast is Coda star Daniel Durant with partner Britt Stewart, country singer Jessie James Decker with partner Alan Bersten, Bachelorette lead Gabby Windey with partner Val Chmerkovskiy and singer Jordin Sparks with partner Brandon Armstrong.

Rounding out season 31 is TV actor Trevor Donovan with partner Emma Slater, Charlie’s Angels star Cheryl Ladd with partner Louis van Amstel, Sex and the City star Jason Lewis with partner Peta Murgatroyd, drag queen superstar Shangela with partner Gleb Savchenko, and WABC-TV New York weather anchor Sam Champion with partner Cheryl Burke. TikTok star Charli D’Amelio and her mom Heidi D’Amelio and their partners Mark Ballas and Artem Chigvintsev rounded out the cast.

‘Dancing With the Stars’ showrunner Conrad Green spills special guests, theme nights, and big changes for season 31

Michael Buble performed during season 16 of 'DWTS.'
‘Dancing with the Stars’ pros Cheryl Burke and Kym Herjavec pose with Michael Buble in season 16 | ABC/Adam Taylor

DWTS has already announced its first theme night of the season, dedicated to Elvis Presley. This episode will air on Monday, Sept. 26.

However, showrunner Conrad Green says that’s not all that fans can expect from this exciting new season of ballroom competition.

“We’ve got some other great themed nights coming up, which we’ll be announcing along the way. In week 2 of the show, we’ll be doing an Elvis night. We’ve got full access to all of the Elvis catalog,” said Green to Entertainment Weekly.

On Oct. 24, a theme night featuring Michael Buble is a first for the show. The singer and performer will also sit on the judge’s panel. Green revealed, “Michael performed on the show years ago, and he’s a brilliant guy. He’s a really good friend of Derek’s [Hough], and it’s probably their friendship that has finally got him to come and give us a whole night of his music and judge along.”

Huge changes are coming for ‘Dancing with the Stars’ annual Disney Night episode

A night of performances, including music and costumes from legendary Disney movies and television shows, has been expanded, says Green. This programming allows for more flexibility in picking different costuming and music choices for upcoming performances.

Green told Entertainment Weekly there is one significant change ahead of Disney Night.

“They will be doing a Disney+ night, not Disney. Which is great because it means you’ve got this incredible catalog to look at,” he explained.

“Everything from Marvel to Disney Pixar, all of the animated films, all of their live-action films. There’s such a range. We’re looking forward to broadening out what was Disney night to Disney+ night and having a fantastic eclectic night to enjoy,” the showrunner concluded.

Dancing with the Stars streams live on Disney+ at 8 p.m. ET Mondays.

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