February 04, 2014 02:30 PM by Suzy Kerr
Well, that was a little harsh, ABC. The network has reportedly fired the orchestra that has been performing on Dancing with the Stars since the show premiered 17 seasons ago, sparking an outcry from fans and industry insiders.
According to tabloids and other media outlets, the network made the call to fire music director Harold Wheeler and his 28-piece orchestra in favor of “a small electronic band” that they hope will entice a younger demographic to watch the hit dancing show. In a statement released by ABC yesterday, the network said, “Since season one, Harold and his band have performed brilliant music in our ballroom for our dancers and the American viewers at home. We are grateful to him and his band for their amazing work and years of collaboration. We wish him the best of luck.”
While there has been no comment from 70-year old Harold, who attracted a fan following of his own, others are outraged at what they view as a distasteful move by ABC. Ray Hair, the president of the American Federation of Music, blasted the network, saying, “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.” He also expressed his opinion that the network’s move for a small, electronic band will never be able to compete with the brilliant harmony of Wheeler’s large orchestra, and he slammed the move as “artistic fraud.” “Firing the band, using recordings, and hiring fewer musicians won’t boost ratings. It will kill the show,” Hair continued in his statement.
The move to replace the band wasn’t completely unexpected, as the show had already begun to use pre-recorded music in some instances. Executive producer Conrad Green justified the action, saying that “it’s impossible for a…band to replicate” some of the sounds of more modern music. “You get to a point where you’re forcing a band to try and do sound that they just literally can’t pull off,” he explained.
So what do you think about ABC firing the Dancing with the Stars orchestra? Was it a low blow, or just standard part of the show’s evolution? Tell us in the comments!
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Photo Credit: ABC
Topics: ABC Reality TV Shows, Dancing With the Stars |
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