'America's Next Top Model' Turns 15: Do the New Changes Signal a Comeback?

Has the America's Next Top Model era come to an end, or will the show's new changes help with its hoped-for resurgence?

How wearying to be Tyra Banks during the weeks before a new season of America's Next Top Model! How challenging to make its endless cycles of shows seem fresh! The CW series is heading into its fifteenth installment, for crying out loud -- and has been losing viewers since 2004. Lucky for Banks, two things may just ease her challenge this time around.

First off, Cycle 15 (which premieres Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET) features a retooled ANTM, with new, highly-respected judges: Photographers Patrick Demarchelier and Matthew Rolston, and designers Diane von Furstenberg, Zac Posen and Roberto Cavalli. And while the show previously partnered with Seventeen magazine (awarding the winning model a photo spread in its pages), its magazine counterpart this year is Italian Vogue. Going from prom dresses to European haute couture is quite an upgrade. (You don't have to be a fashinionista to know that.)

Secondly, the show sparked some attention -- albeit negative -- on its own a few weeks back. In a clip teasing the new season, Tyra and her cohorts are seen praising a new model. The young woman's accomplishment? Having a waist so tiny it could fit in a man's hands.

“In an effort to create a fun and entertaining sneak peek of the upcoming cycle, America’s Next Top Model released a trailer that was edited in way that misconstrued our overarching message,” Banks said in a statement to People magazine. Still, the media tsk-tsking lasted for days, and it confirmed what many point out is a stubbornly entrenched weight standard among models. That's not a good thing, of course. But it got people talking about the show again!

Do you think the ANTM era has come to an end? Chime in below!

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