DWTS hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews were replaced by Tyra Banks because show 'needed something fresh and new'

DANCING With The Stars former hosts Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews were replaced with Tyra Banks to make the show feel "fresh," according to one of the show's bosses.

Tyra, who has received a lukewarm response from fans of the ABC show, was hired to "reach out to a new audience," said the show's executive producer, Andrew Llinares, on Wednesday.

The change of step was a necessary change for the long-running franchise, the show boss told reporters during Day 2 of ABC's virtual fall press day.

"It's all about evolution. Any show like this that has been on for many, many seasons needs to continue to evolve. So I think changing that host is all about evolution.

"It was all about making the show feel fresh, making it feel new and make it reach out to a new audience — as well as the audience that's been there for years."

Llinares said that he also believes switching from a two-host format to one has been "working brilliantly."

"I think it's really refreshed the pace of the show. It's taken it to a new place, in terms of moving fast and feeling different.

"I think that there's a real danger when a show has been on for a long time that the audience almost gets bored of the rhythm of it. It doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with it, just that it gets a little boring," he said.

"I think it's changed the rhythm of the show in a really exciting way. I think Tyra is doing an amazing, amazing job. It's been wonderful having her energy in the ballroom and her expertise as a host in the ballroom. She's brought a new life to everything."

Of the controversial departure of Bergeron and Andrews, he said: "When a show's been on for this many seasons, it's very easy to stay in a place where it doesn't feel like there's anything wrong but does the show feel fresh, exciting and new?

"It's really tough… We've always been successful on all those shows where we continue to evolve and continue to move things on. That's something we've been doing right across the board with this show," Llinares told reporters.

He said that the addition of former pro Derek Hough to the judging panel is part of the update, but argued that they've kept the heart of the show despite the changes.

"The host is part of it, bringing Derek in is part of it, but also throughout the fabric of everything on the show – the set has been updated, it feels more current and the way we're filming the packages…all of those things take the show into a place where it feels more current.

"We wanted to make the show feel relevant, but still hold on to the heart of the show."

Tyra's debut as host has been beset by criticism from fans of the show, who have dubbed her "unwatchable."

One person wrote: "Holey Moley Tyra is HORRIBLE. @ABC call an audible and bring back Tom and Erin RIGHT NOW. #DWTS29 is not worth watching."

An additional person wrote of the new DWTS host: "It's called Dancing With the Stars, not the Tyra show. It's not all about you honey @tyrabanks."

Another Twitter user complained that it was "hard to understand" what the new host was saying, while a following person asked: "Who was the numbskull that hired Tyra? I stopped watching #AGT when Tyra was the host because Tyra is unwatchable."

Tom Bergeron broke the news in July via Twitter that he would not be back in the ballroom for season 29.

"Just informed @DancingABC will be continuing without me," Bergeron wrote. "It's been an incredible 15 year run and the most unexpected gift of my career. I'm grateful for that and for the lifelong friendships made. That said, now what am I supposed to do with all of these glitter masks?"

ABC and BBC Studios released a joint statement to ET confirming the news, shortly after, which also revealed that Andrews was also leaving.

“Tom Bergeron will forever be part of the Dancing With the Stars family. As we embark on a new creative direction, he departs the show with our sincerest thanks and gratitude for his trademark wit and charm that helped make this show a success," the statement read.

"Erin will also not be returning, and we appreciate all that she brought to the ballroom. Fans have been rooting for her since she originally competed as a contestant back in 2010, and her signature sense of humor has become a hallmark of the show."

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