According to news reports, "Dancing with the Stars" co-host Brooke Burke-Charvet was suddenly fired this week because the producers wanted to hire a younger woman to bring in young male straight viewers who have avoided watching the series for nine years.
An “insider” told US Weekly that Burke-Charvet had no idea she was going to be fired and then replaced by Erin Andrews.
"Everyone loved [Brooke], but the execs wanted a whole new show," said the insider because a "young male following" is what ABC is "desperate" for.
"Dancing with the Stars" also fired their house band, the Harold Wheeler Orchestra and Singers, in another effort to recruit straight male viewers.
"People who love 'Dancing With the Stars' also love the superb performances of the orchestra because it is such an integral part of the show," American Federation of Musicians president Ray Hair told The Hollywood Reporter.
"The tight, elaborate musical productions that catapulted the show into the top 10 in 17 countries can’t be duplicated by recordings and a small combo," added Hair. "Viewers, whether they are young or old, will reject that as artistic fraud."
For her part, Burke-Charvet took her firing with good humor on Twitter, “Weird day….Shocking pre-season elimination #DWTS…ME. @Tom_Bergeron didn't even read my name. I won't be returning to the show this season.”
Meanwhile, Andrews could barely contain her glee in replacing Burke. Andrews tweeted, “Very excited! I have HUGE shoes to fill RT @GMA: #DWTS Announcement: Joining @Tom_Bergeron as a co-host this season will be @ErinAndrews!”
Sources: Twitter, The Hollywood Reporter, US Weekly