*Former “Dancing With the Stars” champ Emmitt Smith will return to the show this fall to defend his title during the upcoming all-star season.


The former Dallas Cowyboys running back, who earned a mirror ball trophy during Season 3 in 2006, was announced among the new cast this morning during ABC’s portion of the TCA 2012 Summer Press Tour in Beverly Hills.

Also returning for a second shot are Pamela Anderson, Kelly Monaco, Gilles Marini, Shawn Johnson, Melissa Rycroft, Brooke Burke-Charvet, Joey Fatone, Helio Castronetes, Drew Lachey, Bristol Palin, Apollo Anton Ono, Kirstie Alley and a returning star that will be up to the public’s vote. [Scroll down to watch the promo.]

The celebs’ dancing partners will be revealed on Aug. 13.

Bristol Palin’s appearance before the TCA comes just four days after her father appeared as part of a FOX panel for his reality series “Stars Earn Stripes.” Also, her infamous mother, former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, accompanied her husband to FOX’s TCA party on Monday night. [See photo below.]

Asked why she would accept ABC’s all-star invitation and possibly put herself through the kind of press scrutiny she received during her Season 11 run on “Dancing With the Stars,” Bristol would only say, “God provides opportunities like this. You can either go out and do them or not do them. I figure that the press is going to talk about me no matter what, so I might as well be having fun.”

The journalists didn’t let her off that easy. Below, she is asked if she in fact courts press coverage by continuing to do reality shows such as “DWTS” twice and her ratings-challenged Lifetime series, “Life’s a Tripp.” She’s also asked what she would do if she was partnered with a gay professional dancer, in light of her recent declaration that she is against gay marriage.