'Dancing with the Stars' cast avoids controversy, includes Urkel
'Dancing With the Stars' annually is among the top-rated U.S. TV shows with a formula that pairs B-list celebrities, sports stars and singers with professional dancers performing sambas, cha-cha-chas and waltzes across a ballroom floor.
Television ballroom contest "Dancing¬†With¬†the¬†Stars" took a step back from controversy¬†with¬†its new cast unveiled on Tuesday, including tennis champ¬†Martina Navratilova, several TV actors, an opera singer and¬†Gladys Knight¬†without her "Pips."
"Dancing¬†With¬†the¬†Stars" annually is among¬†the¬†top-rated U.S. TV shows¬†with¬†a formula that pairs B-list celebrities, sports¬†stars¬†and singers¬†with¬†professional dancers performing sambas, cha-cha-chas and waltzes across a ballroom floor.
Last year¬†the¬†show courted controversy when it cast Chaz Bono,¬†the¬†transgender child of pop superstar¬†Cher, resulting in protests from some conservative groups. But this season there appears little in¬†the¬†lineup to fuss about.
The¬†cast of 12 celebrities includes Navratilova, one of¬†the¬†most celebrated women tennis champions of all time, and Gladys Knight, who along¬†with¬†her backup band¬†the¬†Pips, scored hits such as "I Heard It Through¬†theGrapevine" and "Midnight Train to¬†Georgia."
Melissa Gilbert¬†found fame in 1970s TV western "Little House on¬†the¬†Prairie," and¬†Jaleel White's character Steve Urkel on "Family Matters" became a TV icon of¬†the¬†1990s. Both will compete on¬†the¬†show alongside Welsh mezzo soprano Katherine Jenkins and pop singer¬†Gavin DeGraw.
Others on¬†the¬†new season, which premieres March 19 on¬†the¬†ABC network, are professional football playerDonald Driver,¬†Disney¬†channel actor¬†Roshon Fegan, Cuban-born¬†Telemundo¬†star¬†William Levy, TV show hostsMaria Menounos¬†and¬†Sherri Shepherd, and¬†Jack White, star of 1990s hit show "Melrose Place."