DWTS Season 29: Derek Hough Returns, as Judge — Where's Len?

Dancing With the Stars is losing one more familiar face, but adding another, ahead of Season 29.

ABC announced Tuesday that series veteran Derek Hough will serve as a judge for the upcoming cycle. He’ll replace Len Goodman, who is unable to judge this season due to coronavirus travel restrictions; Goodman will, however, be involved “in a different capacity” while living in the U.K.

“This show has been and will always be incredibly special to me,” Hough said in a statement. “Coming back feels like coming home, and I couldn’t be more excited to be back in the ballroom.”

Hough, who will sit alongside returning staples Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli, has six Mirrorball wins under his belt from his time as a pro partner (with contestants Brooke Burke, Nicole Scherzinger, Jennifer Grey, Kellie Pickler, Amber Riley and Bindi Irwin). He has judged NBC’s World of Dance for the past three seasons with Jennifer Lopez and Ne-Yo, and he’s also been a fixture on ABC’s recent Disney Family Singalong specials. (UPDATE: An NBC rep has confirmed that Hough’s DWTS gig will not affect his status on a potential fifth season of World of Dance.)

And this will be the second time a Hough sibling has sat behind Dancing‘s judging table: Julianne Hough, who previously served as a pro dancer on the show, later judged contestants on Seasons 19 through 21.

Dancing With the Stars, now hosted by Tyra Banks, returns Monday, Sept. 14 at 8/7c on ABC. The Season 29 cast includes Carole Baskin (Tiger King), Chrishell Stause (Selling Sunset), Cheer coach Monica Aldama, rapper Nelly, Backstreet Boys alum AJ McLean and more; see the full roster here.

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