Maksim Chmerkovskiy may not be hanging up his dancing shoes just yet. Though the professional dancer has implied that he has moved on from the TV show that made him a household name, ABC's president of entertainment Paul Lee said that the 33-year-old may be returning for the upcoming 17th season of Dancing with the Stars.
"Maks is part of the family," Lee told Today.com at the Television Critics Association's press tour Sunday, Aug. 4. "He may well be back. We love having him be part of the show."
This latest news may come to a surprise to fans. In February 2013, Chmerkovskiy explained why his name was left out of the Season 16 cast lineup shortly after the partners were announced. "I just want to set the record straight to all of my amazing fans that I will unfortunately not be returning for this season of Dancing With the Stars," the dancer said in a statement to Good Morning America at the time.
He added, "I've been a pro dancer on the show for about seven years now and am eager to explore other opportunities that have been made possible because of Dancing With the Stars. I'm going to take this time to dive into producing and acting, while fulfilling my sponsorship obligations."
During his time away from the ABC series, Chmerkovskiy has been performing in the Broadway revival of Luyis Bravo's Forever Tango with ex-fiance, Karina Smirnoff.
Dancing with the Stars premieres Season 17 Monday, Sept. 16, at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.
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