Samantha Harris is leaving ABC’s "Dancing with the Stars."
Harris, who serves as Tom Bergeron’s sidekick on the series, broke the news of her pending departure via an interview with People.com Thursday. She claimed she was moving on to focus on her duties on the syndicated magazine show "The Insider," as well as "Entertainment Tonight."
Her announcement also comes just days after TMZ reported that former "American Idol" judge Paul Abdul was in talks to join "DWTS." The website seemed to indicate she was coming on board as a contestant, but given the seven-figure salary it threw out for Abdul, a hosting or judging gig would seem to make sense.
So are the Harris announcement and Abdul rumors related?
Well, it’s hard to see why Abdul would want to simply serve as second banana to "DWTS" host Tom Bergeron. Also, despite some Twitter talk among media types that Harris’s exit might be related to a possible Abdul addition, ABC insiders tell MoJoe: "Um, no."
Of course, just because Harris isn’t being replaced by Abdul doesn’t mean Abdul might not end up somehow appearing on "DWTS." ABC’s Steve McPherson made it clear last summer that he was a fan of Abdul and would be open to talking to her reps about roles at the network.