Rob Wade has been tapped to take over as showrunner of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars starting with the next 19th cycle, which has not been formally picked up but is fully expected to. Wade, a DWTS veteran, will succeed Conrad Green, the show’s executive producer/showrunner since its launch, who is departing after the 18th season finale next month to join new Fox series Utopia as executive producer. Wade was a producer on DWTS for the first 11 seasons, including a stint as co-executive producer under Green from Season 5 in 2007 to Season 11 in 2010. “Rob was a part of the DWTS family from the very beginning and in our mind, there was no one who made more sense to come aboard and take the show into its next era than him,” said Jane Tranter, head of BBC Worldwide Prods., which produces DWTS. Wade will serve as executive producer alongside Ashely Edens-Shaffer and Joe Sungkur. “Dancing with the Stars is in great shape and I look forward to getting back in the ballroom and working with Joe and Ashley to take it to the next level,” Wade said.
As is the case with all aging reality franchises, the ratings for Dancing have come down and, starting last fall, the show went from two to one episode a week but it still draws sizable audiences. The show made several changes going into this season, including Erin Andrews replacing Brooke Burke-Charvet as co-host and bringing in a new orchestra. Wade most recently served as Head of U.S. Television for Simon Cowell’s Syco Entertainment, serving as executive producer on the company’s America’s Got Talent and The X Factor. Like Green, Wade moved to the U.S. from his native Great Britain in 2005 to work on the first season of DWTS. In the U.K. he worked on a Big Brother, Dog Eat Dog, and I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here.