Goodbye, Len! Dancing With the Stars judge Len Goodman, who has appeared on the ABC series since its premiere in 2005, is leaving the reality hit after 20 seasons, Us Weekly has confirmed.
The London native, who also serves as a judge on the original British version of the show, Strictly Come Dancing, is leaving DWTS thanks to his commitment to Strictly and a brand-new grandson. Goodman has been discussing his exit for years.
"Len will not be returning as a judge this season on Dancing With the Stars due to his schedule as a judge on Strictly Come Dancing in the UK and the birth of his new grandson," DWTS executive producer Rob Wade tells Us Weekly.
The DWTS judging panel of Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, and Bruno Tonioli has been in tact since the premiere, and added fourth judge (and former pro) Julianne Hough in Season 19. Wade reveals that Goodman is not severing his ties with DWTS for good, but his participation depends on his busy schedule. "He still might be involved in the season at some capacity, but we will have to wait and see," Wade adds.
In the meantime, there will be a rotating seat alongside Tonioli, Inaba, and Hough. "We are planning on having great guest judges for some shows to join Bruno, Carrie Ann, and Julianne, and I'm sure we will see Len in the ballroom again soon."
As for who is returning to the show, several of the season's pro partners were announced on Good Morning America on Wednesday, Aug. 19. Derek Hough, Karina Smirnoff, Val Chmerkovskiy, Mark Ballas, Artem Chigvintsev, Allison Holker, Sharna Burgess, Peta Murgatroyd, and Witney Carson will team up with the latest batch of celebs.
"I finally believe in myself and in my abilities when it comes to DWTS," reigning champion Chmerkovskiy told Us Weekly exclusively of his return. "Did winning the trophy [alongside Rumer Willis] erase certain doubts? Absolutely. I'm excited to do this show with a new perspective and approach, that only a champion can have."
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