Most people wouldn’t be able to bounce back from an eight-month prison stint — and a cancer diagnosis — with a hit reality show… but Abby Lee Miller isn’t most people. The controversial Dance Moms star returned to television in June after a nearly two-year hiatus that saw her serve time behind bars for bankruptcy fraud.
Though her comeback received a lot of attention, as did Season 8’s brand-new crop of dancers, it’s no secret that the current lineup isn’t really gelling (with each other or viewers). Does this spell trouble for the Lifetime series?
Will there be a Season 9 of Dance Moms?
The network has yet to renew the show for a ninth season, but Abby seems confident that it will return — regardless of the noticeable dip in ratings.
"If the ratings were based on how many times over and over and over the kids watch the show, we would probably be the No. 1 show on TV," she stated in an interview with FOX Business.
"They watch it because they want to learn the dance routines, so they turn it on and they stop and rewind again and again and again and again because they want to dance like the kids on the show," she explained.
But despite what Dance Moms has done for her career, Abby hasn’t always spoken favorably of Lifetime, which could motivate the channel to sever ties with the 53-year-old.
"Because of the character I portray on TV and how Lifetime and Dance Moms has set that up since Day 1, people were out to get me," Abby claimed while rehashing her time in prison. She also called out the network in an August 22 Instagram post for choosing to focus on behind-the-scenes drama instead of the talent being displayed.
"When we all work so hard on a spectacular routine that wins the whole damn competition & they don’t air it!!! Grrrrrrrr!" she wrote after one episode. "They’d rather give the air time to some demented psycho!"
Though her frustrations are valid, it looks like the problem might not be the drama but the cast. According to FOX Business, Season 8 averaged just 591k viewers per episode compared to 2.17 million in Season 2. Maybe Dance Moms has simply run its course.
Abby Lee Miller is still confined to a wheelchair following more health problems.
The Pennsylvania native is learning to walk again after she had a mass/tumor removed from her spinal cord, which turned out to be a rare and highly aggressive form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. But her recovery has stalled slightly due to a couple of other issues.
In July, Abby underwent a total knee replacement. "Everyone says it’s the most painful surgery that you can have. I didn’t feel a thing, so it’s all good," she recently told Life & Style, but unfortunately, the studio owner suffered a fall at the Pittsburgh airport shortly after which injured her shoulder.
The incident tore two pieces of her rotator cuff, but she declined to go under the knife again. "No more surgeries," Abby declared. "The only surgery I’m doing is to make me look better. No more health things. [I’ve] had it."
Dance Moms airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on Lifetime.