Wednesday, September 06 2017 08:28

2017 Edition! DWTS: "Dancing With the Stars" is STILL not "Death Walks the Streets"

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Familiar? Haven't we done this before? We have, and the cycle will continue...

ABC just announced their cast for Season 25 of DANCING WITH THE STARS, and as usual, fans are taking to twitter to air their excitement or concern by tweeting @DWTS. Thing is, on twitter that means they're reaching the original DWTS... or at least a DWTS that staked (like a vampire) the acronym before "Dancing," and that's DEATH WALKS THE STREETS. If you haven't been playing along for the past 13 or so years, the #OriginalDWTS is a genre-bending transmedia property created by someone very familiar to readers of this site... yours truly. Curious?

In an era pre-TWILIGHT and pre-SUPERNATURAL DEATH WALKS THE STREETS was originally slated to be a trilogy of feature films, announced in 2005 after the 2004 completion of the screenplay for the first film. It was nominated for a Spike TV Scream Award for "Most Anticipated Film" in 2006 and the "Making-of" Video Podcasts were nominated for a Broadband Emmy in 2007 (through a MySpace promotion) but sadly the project hit some snags before imploding in its original form before the first film was even shot... though casting had taken place, sets had been designed, locations scouted, crew hired, FX tests completed, even score and soundtrack demos turned in!


It was a painful experience for me, and after "Dancing" hit the scene, things got weirder, and more awkward (see my co-writer's custom Converse Chuck Taylor's that had "DWTS" embroidered on them in big, bold letters). In the time since, there's been life in death, with the property spawning an indie comic book (which will return in the not-so-far-off future) that delved into the promised tagline of VAMPIRES. DEMONS. ZOMBIES. WEREWOLVES. THE MOB. There will be more from my crime/horror hybrid in the future... but for now we're back to what happens every time ABC announces a new season of their DWTS: My inbox and timeline are blowing up.


And in my regular inbox as "The Rock Father™" this announcement arrived this morning:

“Dancing with the Stars” is gearing up to celebrate its 25th season, and the new celebrity cast are sparkling up their wardrobe, breaking in their dancing shoes and readying themselves for their first dance on the ballroom floor, as the season kicks off on MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 18 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. This season’s lineup of celebrity dancers includes a “Shark,” a married couple whose pro partners are also a married couple, a “Pretty Little Liar,” a “Property Brother,” an 80s pop icon, a WWE superstar and a NBA champion, among others.

Additionally, ABC is launching the first-ever official Dancing with the Stars Fantasy League on September 6 on abc.com/dfl. The game allows players to predict which couple will win the season and take home the coveted Mirrorball Trophy. Players earn points for correct predictions, and each point is an entry into the grand-prize drawing for a chance to win a trip for four to Disney’s Aulani Resort in Hawaii and other exclusive prizes. Beginning September 19, fans can also play the weekly game to earn more points and chances to win. Each week, players choose three couples they predict will earn the highest scores in that week’s episode(s). Each point the couples earn on the show is another entry towards the Grand Prize and First Prize sweepstakes.

As announced this morning on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” the celebrities with their professional dance partners heading to the ballroom this season (in alphabetical order) are:

  • Barbara Corcoran with Keo Motsepe

  • Debbie Gibson with Alan Bersten

  • Derek Fisher with Sharna Burgess

  • Drew Scott with Emma Slater

  • Frankie Muniz with Witney Carson

  • Jordan Fisher with Lindsay Arnold

  • Lindsey Stirling with Mark Ballas

  • Nick Lachey with Peta Murgatroyd

  • Nikki Bella with Artem Chigvintsev

  • Sasha Pieterse with Gleb Savchenko

  • Terrell Owens with Cheryl Burke

  • Vanessa Lachey with Maks Chmerkovskiy

  • Victoria Arlen with Val Chmerkovskiy

Now, I'm friendly with a lot of folks at ABC, and tend to visit their offices in Burbank a few times a year... so should the opportunity ever arise to make an appearance on their DWTS, I'm certainly open to considering it. But I'm a terrible dancer.


James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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