One of ABC’s biggest and most popular competition shows -- “Dancing With The Stars -- began its 26th season on April 30, bringing in 8.45 million viewers according to Nielsen ratings. However, this number is actually the lowest the show has received for a season premiere. It would appear that a large amount of viewers are not fans of the new format the show debuted this season.

There were multiple changes this season

The first big change of the season came in the title of the show. The simple "Dancing With The Stars" has had "Athletes [VIDEO]" added to it. This was to emphasize that all the stars on this season would in fact be athletes.

In past seasons of "DWTS [VIDEO], " the competition has lasted 10 weeks but with the new format, this length has been cut to less than half -- lasting only four weeks. This gives the dancers much less time to polish their moves, making the season very unforgiving for couples.

In the original format, couples would dance for scores on the Monday night episode and be eliminated on the Tuesday show. On these Tuesday episodes, one couple would be eliminated each week until the finale. However, in this new format two couples are eliminated each week and three will be eliminated in the final week. Also, the eliminations are done on the Monday night show -- there is no Tuesday night show. Fans literally have hours to vote for their favorites, flooding the website and slowing it down.

Everyone is not happy with the changes

Fans took to Twitter to voice their disapproval of the new format.

Many seem to find it underdeveloped and rushed. Some even went as far as to call it “horrible.” Fans have become so accustomed to the traditional format that they see no reason to change it.

According to ABC, the change was made in order to free up time slots for the newly renewed program "American Idol," which initially was broadcast on FOX. After being cancelled on that network, it was picked up by ABC with a slightly new format. This show brought in 8.53 million viewers -- according to Nielsen ratings -- on Sunday, surpassing "DWTS." However, these shows are very different in format, and while the audiences may overlap, the talent being showcased is not the same at all. Some may believe that singing is more accessible to viewers, and that those who find success in this world have a better chance of finding success in life.

The next season of "DWTS" -- titled “Dancing With The Stars: Juniors” -- airs this fall on ABC.