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'Dancing w/ the Stars' -- Sorry for All the D-Listers

7/24/2011 6:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Say goodbye to the likes of Ralph Macchio and Kendra Wilkinson on "Dancing with the Stars" ... TMZ has learned producers are on the hunt for more "high profile" celebs next season ... in the hopes of cutting down on the gimmicky stars they've booked in the past.


Sources connected to the show tell TMZ ... producers are under direct orders to find "more high profile" people than in the past seasons ... after booking a string of D-listers like The Situation, Kate Gosselin, Audrina Patridge, Jake Pavelka and Holly Madison.

In order to lock down the BIG names, we're told producers are offering A-listers complete control over their rehearsal schedule -- telling them there's NO minimum rehearsal requirements ... and they can practice as little or as much as they want.

Celebs will also have final say on music selections and costume design ... including colors, cuts and styles.

So far, no word if producers have signed any of the "high profile" people in their crosshairs.


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Ben from Baltmore    

Regis Philbin is already on board for the next season of Dancing With The Stars. He will probably be the only gentleman on the show, though.

1185 days ago


The number 1 show in it's time slot...why fix what's not broken!

1185 days ago


...but it's as bad as watching an-incredibly-dull and-slow- moving baseball game...

There's no stakes, no one to root for, no drama, no tension.

Ralph M. shouldn't even have lowered himself to DO this show - he's "The Karate Kid," for God's Sake.

Being dissed by some loud mouth judge who's job it is to ambush people any moment he can -

Bruno dissing Ralph M. ?

Is incongruous, it would be much too painful for me to watch.

"Let me enlarge myself by ridiculing you in front of a national audience."

1185 days ago


@Jim in Cali 7 minutes ago
"That's why D listers are so attractive because they aren't doing anything."

What will you be up to next year, Jim in Cali?

And, um, what list would you be on?

1185 days ago

Big heat elf    

This is a bad bad bad decision. This many changes to format is a recipe for disaster. I can see booking two, maybe 3 big leaguers. Why? First, full cast of A-listers is going to completely eat up their budget. Second, if they start using orginal mixes to music, they are going to have one pissed off band and artist are gonna want a pretty penny for the use of the unaltered material. Again, more money down the drain. Third, giving A-listers full reign of their rehersal schedule is gonna make for a sloppy product. Some of the people on past seasons practiced as many as 8 hours a day, and their performance was still a train-wreck. See Kate Gosselin. Fouth, DWTS has always be used as a platform for D listers to either further their career or see a second 15 minutes. Why should they give A listers another opportunity to be shoved up everyone elses butts? If they change the format this drastically, DWTS will not be with us long in the future.

1185 days ago


...short of GOD (or Speilberg) being on this show next season, my take is:

It's the beginning of the end.

It had a good run, it made a couple bucks now go away.

Put Pari******on's show in place of it and make me the story editor -

1185 days ago

some guy    

I'd watch DWTS only if Ralph Macchio jumping-crane kicks one of the instructors. Preferably with some FX of noses being crushed.

1185 days ago

some guy    

@Her Majesty

Isn't there already a show like that over the Pond, but with members from Parliament? I remember Britain started the whole 'Idol' thing.

1185 days ago


Pick me. My name is Chi. I am a z-lister

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1185 days ago


I'm somewhat torn. On the one hand - dumping the reality show idiots who are famous only for their willingness to become a public punchline is a good thing. And letting big name people come in and have more control would be interesting in that we'd get to see who thinks that name recognition is the same as talent (So why rehearse? Just give me my prize now.)

On the other hand, such a rule will seriously up the divatude quotient and turn it into just another cheap reality TV show that gets viewers solely to watch people humiliate themselves for a chance on tv.

I would also like to see them get rid of the ringers. Every season they have one or two people who has had dancing be a major part of their career and then we are supposed to be awed that they are beating out the guy who has never danced but for the 6th grade mixer, and then he only did it to get a chance at touching Susie's bra strap.

1185 days ago


I wouldn't really call Ralph Macchio a D-list star in the same sense as the others you mention. He was a legitimate A-list star in the 80's and early 90s. The original Karate Kid and My Cousin Vinnie were huge hits that are still popular today. Sure he's not doing much now, but to me that is a lot different from a bunch of reality show stars that have peaked at D-list level where doing this show would actually be a high point of their career.

1185 days ago


I usually only watch this show to see the professionals and what they will come up with. For Dancing I turn on SYTYCD.

1185 days ago


Worst online article about Ralph Macchio I've ever seen. What is it with sites like this putting him down? He is definitely not a D-Lister. Re-watch The Outsiders, Distant Thunder, and do your research on his recent television (Ugly Betty) and film (Rosenkrantz & Guildenstern are Undead) work. It's writers who don't do any research about their topics that write stupid articles like this.

1185 days ago
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