Valerie Harper, ex-Tampa Bay Buccaneer Keyshawn Johnson among celebrities on this fall's Dancing with the Stars
Classic TV star (and possible brain cancer survivor) Valerie Harper joins former Tampa Bay Buccaneer star Keyshawn Johnson atop the list of contestants announced for this fall’s edition of Dancing with the Stars.
Revealed on this morning’s edition of Good Morning America, the field of contestants once again centers on midlevel celebrity competitors familiar to the show’s middle-aged, female fan base and their granddaughters.
How else to explain Bill Nye the Science Guy competing next to Jack Osbourne? Or King of Queens co-star Leah Remini lining up next to Glee alum Amber Riley, Disney Channel expatriate Corbin Bleu, comic Bill Engvall, Saved By the Bell and Showgirls star Elizabeth Berkeley, singer Christina Milan, Brant Daugherty of Pretty Little Liars and Jersey Shore star Nicole “Snookie” Polizzi?
In truth, this lineup goes light on some typical strains of celebrity which have drawn eyeballs in the past – there’s just one athlete, no former Olympians, one grown-up child star and just a couple of tabloid news mainstays.
Perhaps as a measure of its shrinking ratings and aging audience, Dancing with the Stars for the first time will combine its performance and results show into one two-hour program airing at 8 p.m., Mondays beginning Sept. 16.
Viewers can vote for their favorite couple during the show and for an hour after each episode ends; presumably, the ejections start one week after the debut.
Harper, 74, who has been told her brain cancer is "close to remission" by doctors, will likely serve as the core audience’s mascot and surrogate, much in the way Kirstie Alley and Marie Osmond were in past seasons.
And Johnson may be an early favorite; athletes tend to do well on the show and former Buccaneers teammate Warren Sapp nearly won the show in 2008, placing second behind current co-host Brooke Burke.
Looks below for more details on the celebs and their professional dancer parnters.
ELIZABETH BERKLEY LAUREN -- 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.” She and her artist/fashion designer husband, Greg Lauren, are the proud new parents to a one-year-old son, Sky Cole Lauren. ELIZABETH 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. Other film credits include “Soldier,” Galaxy Quest,” “Mystery Men” and “Family Tree.” Born in Brooklyn, New York, Bleu currently resides in Los Angeles and New York City. CORBIN 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.” Hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, Daugherty went to Columbia College Chicago and earned a bachelor’s degree in film and video production. BRANT 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. Engvall resides in Southern California with his family. BILL 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.” In January 2013, Harper published her memoir, I Rhoda. VALERIE 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. Johnson currently lives with his girlfriend, Jennifer, and their four children, Maia, Keyshawn, London and Vance. KEYSHAWN JOHNSON partners with SHARNA BURGESS.
CHRISTINA MILIAN -- Christina Milian is a multi-talented phenomenon whose resume 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.” Most recently Milian has graced the covers of Rolling Out, Unleash’d, Denim, Hydrogen and Cielo Magazines. CHRISTINA 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. 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. He was awarded the Ralph Coats Roe Medal by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and holds honorary doctorates from Johns Hopkins, Rensselaer Polytechnic, Goucher, Quinnipiac, Willamette and Lehigh Universities. BILL 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 Company. Osbourne has appeared on such television shows as “Dawson’s Creek” and “That ‘70s Show.” In addition he had a cameo in the motion picture “Austin Powers: Goldmember” and a feature role in the film “New York Minute.” JACK 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. NICOLE “SNOOKI” POLIZZI 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 over 33 countries. Remini produced and starred in the one of the earliest and most successful comedic web series, “In the Motherhood.” Remini finds great joy in her philanthropic work with numerous and diverse military, women’s and children’s charities. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter. LEAH 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.” She is currently in the studio working on her debut solo album. AMBER RILEY partners with DEREK HOUGH.