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ABC announces 'Dancing with the Stars' celebrity and professional pairings

by jmaloni

Press release

Wed, Sep 4th 2013 02:35 pm
`Dancing with the Stars` on `Good Morning America`: The cast of season 17 of `Dancing with the Stars` is announced live on `Good Morning America` on the ABC Television Network. The cast is pictured with `GMA's` Lara Spencer, George Stephanopoulos, Sam Champion and Josh Elliott. (ABC photo by Ida Mae Astute)
"Dancing with the Stars" on "Good Morning America": The cast of season 17 of "Dancing with the Stars" is announced live on "Good Morning America" on the ABC Television Network. The cast is pictured with "GMA's" Lara Spencer, George Stephanopoulos, Sam Champion and Josh Elliott. (ABC photo by Ida Mae Astute)
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The new cast will take to the stage when "Dancing with the Stars" premieres Monday, Sept. 16 on ABC

The cast for the new season of "Dancing with the Stars" was announced this morning on "Good Morning America." The lineup of stars - including a sitcom legend, a reality mega-star, a football champion and a pop music sensation - will perform for the first time on live national television with their professional partners during the two-hour season premiere of "DWTS" Monday, Sept. 16, (8-10:01 p.m.) on the ABC Television Network.

"DWTS" returns for season 17 and shakes things up by transitioning to a one night, two-hour format. The one-night extravaganza will feature competitive dance, dynamic group performances and musical guests, all building to a climactic elimination. Each week, viewers can vote for their favorite dancing performance. Beginning with the second episode on Monday, Sept. 23, one couple will be eliminated at the end of the show by combining the judges' scores from that night with the public votes from the previous week.

As announced by "DWTS" hosts Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke-Charvet, the 12 celebrities with their professional partners heading to the dance floor this season (in alphabetical order) are:

Elizabeth Berkley Lauren - Elizabeth Berkley Lauren has appeared in a host of successful film, television and stage roles. Her acting career began at age 15 as Jessie in the hit sitcom "Saved by the Bell." She played Julia Winston on "CSI: Miami" and appeared in the final season of Showtime's "The L-Word." Her television success led to film roles in "First Wives Club," "Roger Dodger," Oliver Stone's "Any Given Sunday," Woody Allen's "Curse of the Jade Scorpion" and the cult hit "Showgirls." For the past several years, due to the syndication of "Saved by the Bell," Berkley Lauren has been making life-changing connections with a whole new generation of teen girls with her not-for-profit organization, "Ask Elizabeth." She facilitates self-esteem workshops and volunteers in both schools and youth organizations, and her website, ask-elizabeth.com, provides constant resources and assistance to girls. This nationwide movement has affected the lives of over 100,000 girls and counting. Berkley Lauren partners with Valentin Chmerkovskiy.

Corbin Bleu - Corbin Bleu is best known for his role as Chad in the Emmy Award-winning Disney Channel Movie "High School Musical," its sequel, "High School Musical 2," and the feature film "High School Musical 3: Senior Year." He also starred in the hit Disney Channel Movie "Jump In," and will be seen this fall starring alongside Stephen Lang in the highly anticipated thriller "The Monkey's Paw." Bleu had his producing debut in 2008 for the movie "Free Style," in which he also starred. He can currently be seen playing the role of Jeffrey King on "One Life to Live." Bleu starred on Broadway as Jesus in "Godspell" and as Usnavi in "In the Heights." He also starred in the theater sensation "Hairspray" at the Hollywood Bowl. In 2007 his debut solo album, "Another Side," featured the hit single "Push it to the Limit," and in 2009 he released his second studio album, "Speed of Light." Bleu partners with Karina Smirnoff.

Brant Daugherty - Brant Daugherty is best known for his role as Noel on ABC Family's "Pretty Little Liars," and can currently be seen as Lt. Patrick Clarke on Lifetime's "Army Wives." He was also on the daytime serial "Days of Our Lives." Daugherty has a lead role in Hallmark Channel's upcoming TV movie, "The Michaels." In November he will make his film debut in the comedy spoof, "The Starving Games," from filmmaking team Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer. Daugherty partners with Peta Murgatroyd.

Bill Engvall - Bill Engvall is a Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum-selling recording artist and one of the top comedians in the country. Currently, Engvall can be heard on the animated comedy series "Bounty Hunters," airing on CMT. He previously starred in and executive-produced the TBS sitcom "The Bill Engvall Show." Engvall was part of the enormously successful "Blue Collar Comedy" concert films, which sold more than 9 million units and received a Grammy nomination. He also starred on the WB's hit sketch comedy show, "Blue Collar TV,"and in several solo specials for Comedy Central. In 2012 he reunited with Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy on the "Them Idiots Whirled Tour," which aired as a special on CMT. Engvall's first album, "Here's Your Sign," is certified platinum and held the No. 1 position on the Billboard Comedy Chart for 15 straight weeks. Engvall joins first-time professional partner Emma Slater.

Valerie Harper - Valerie Harper is best known to audiences for her role as the beloved Rhoda Morgenstern on the classic TV sitcom "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" and its subsequent spin-off, "Rhoda." The popularity of the show was enormous, and the episode of Rhoda's wedding set ratings records with 52 million viewers. For playing Rhoda, Harper won a total of four Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe. Her extensive television career includes the self-titled sitcom, "Valerie," and more recently guest roles on such hit shows as "Desperate Housewives," "Sex and the City," "That '70s Show," "Touched by an Angel" and "Hot in Cleveland." In 2010, Harper was seen on Broadway in "Looped" and received a Tony Award nomination for her portrayal of legendary actress Tallulah Bankhead. In January 2013, Harper published her memoir, "I Rhoda." Harper partners with Tristan MacManus.

Keyshawn Johnson - Keyshawn Johnson is a multi-talented business entrepreneur, media broadcaster, television personality and elite athlete. The CEO and a co-founder of First Picks Management, Johnson is a former NFL Super Bowl champion and All-Pro wide receiver. He was drafted No. 1 overall by the New York Jets in 1996 and also played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dallas Cowboys and Carolina Panthers. He joined ESPN in 2007 as an NFL studio analyst the same day he announced his retirement from the NFL. Johnson appears on both "Sunday NFL Countdown" and "Monday Night Countdown," and co-hosts ESPN Radio's weekly "Football Tonight Special" on Fridays during the NFL season. Johnson partners with Sharna Burgess.

Christina Milian - Christina Milian is a multi-talented performer whose résumé includes film, television, theater and music. Milian is formally known for her role as the social media correspondent for the hit NBC show "The Voice." She was also most recently seen in the television movie "The Christmas Cupid," CBS' "A Gifted Man" and "CSI," and recurs as the voice of Esther on "Family Guy." She also starred in the last installment of the popular "Bring It On" franchise in "Bring It On: Fight to the Finish." Most recently, Milian signed with Lil Wayne's Young Money/Cash Money/Universal label and is currently in the studio recording her fourth album. Her self- titled debut, "Christina Milian," produced the hit "AM to PM" which marked her breakout into pop culture. Milian partners with Mark Ballas.

Bill Nye - Bill Nye is a mechanical engineer who wants the world to know and appreciate the passion, beauty and joy (the P, B & J) of science. While working on 747s at Boeing, Nye entered and won a Steve Martin Look-Alike Contest in Seattle, which led to his performing as a stand-up comic. He met a few other comedians and started submitting jokes to "Almost Live," Seattle's own comedy show. There, Nye came up with the "Science Guy" character and quickly realized that he wanted to create a kids' show about science. Eleven years later "Bill Nye the Science Guy" had won 18 Emmys. Nye won seven of them as host and head writer. These days he travels around the globe exhorting his audiences to change the world. Nye has written six children's books and is working on a seventh about space exploration. Nye joins first time professional partner Tyne Stecklein.

Jack Osbourne - Already a TV veteran at 27, Jack Osbourne is currently co-anchor and West Coast correspondent for "Fuse News," a daily live music news show on Fuse, the national music television network of The Madison Square Garden Co. Most recently, Osbourne hosted the TV series "Haunted Highway" on the Syfy channel. The show followed Osbourne and Dana Workman as they investigated claims of paranormal activity along America's remote back roads. Earlier this year, Osbourne's production company, Schweet Entertainment, produced a 16-episode TV docu-series for National Geographic titled "Alpha Dogs." The show took viewers behind the scenes with a special elite force of K-9s and trainers dedicated to serving this country. He produced a documentary about his father, Ozzy Osbourne, titled "God Bless Ozzy Osbourne." The film premiered in 2011 at the Tribeca Film Festival and was the first to tell the story of Ozzy's tortured and emotionally fraught journey to sobriety. Osbourne partners with Cheryl Burke.

Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi - Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi is a proud new mom as well as the New York Times best-selling author of "A Shore Thing, Confessions of a Guidette" and "Gorilla Beach." Famous for her trend-setting pouf hairstyle, small stature and acrobatic moves on the dance floor, Polizzi is the breakout star of MTV's "Jersey Shore," the highest-rated show in the network's history. The third season of her current show, "Snooki & JWoww," will debut in October. She has been parodied on "Saturday Night Live" and appeared on numerous talk shows, in addition to being featured in The New York Times and on the covers of Rolling Stone, People, US Weekly and In Touch. Snooki joins first-time professional partner Sasha Farber.

Leah Remini - For nine seasons, Leah Remini starred in the hit comedy series "The King of Queens." The show continues to enjoy huge success through daily syndication, airing in more than 33 countries. Remini produced and starred in the one of the earliest and most successful comedic Web series, "In the Motherhood." She co-produced a series of webisodes for the Suave/Sprint brands under the "In the Motherhood" banner. The highly successful series drew more than 5 million viewers to the site. In her first jump behind the camera, Remini co-produced the "Inside Out: Leah Remini" wedding and baby specials for VH1. On the big screen she starred in "Old School," alongside Luke Wilson, Vince Vaughn and Will Ferrell. In 2010 she helped launch and was co-host of the first season of the daytime talk show, "The Talk," and recently starred in the ABC series "Family Tools." Remini partners with Tony Dovolani.

Amber Riley - Amber Riley, best known for her role as Mercedes Jones on FOX's Golden Globe, Peabody and SAG Award-winning musical comedy, "Glee," got her first big break when Ryan Murphy cast her in the pilot "St. Sass." Although the pilot was not picked up to series, Riley was able to use that experience to land a role on the television series "Cedric the Entertainer Presents." In November, Riley made her New York stage debut to rave reviews in New York City Center's "Duke Ellington's Cotton Club Parade." She has received two individual NAACP Image Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy series for her work on "Glee." In 2011 she was nominated for a second Teen Choice Award for Choice TV: Female Scene Stealer, and in 2010 received the Most Popular Geek Award at AOL's Geek Awards. Riley partners with Derek Hough.

Viewers may cast their votes for their favorite teams via phone on Monday nights during and up to 60 minutes after the end of the "Dancing with the Stars" broadcast in each time zone. Online voting at www.ABC.com and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/dancingwiththestars is open for 24 hours, beginning from the start of each episode on the East Coast at 8 p.m., and closing at 8 p.m. on Tuesday. For the final week, on Monday, Nov. 25, online voting will open for 15 hours, beginning from the start of the episode on the East Coast at 8 p.m., and closing at 11 a.m. the next day. A custom Facebook app lets fans vote, share whom they voted for and say why, as well as see whom friends voted for.

Hosted by Emmy® Award-winning host Bergeron and Burke-Charvet, "Dancing with the Stars" is the hit series in which celebrities perform choreographed dance routines, which are judged by renowned ballroom judge Len Goodman and dancer/choreographers Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba.

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