New showrunner Rob Wade has said he's "very confident" all three original judges will return, but pro queen Cheryl Burke has mentioned a couple of times now that head judge Len Goodman may be more of a part-time paddle holder this fall.
At the end of Season 18, Len said he might not return to DWTS. There had been rumors that he might not want to do the fall season at all because he’s sick of the weekly commute back and forth from London (for Strictly Come Dancing) and L.A. (for DWTS).
Cheryl just recently gave another update on the Len front, telling the New York Daily News’s Confidenti@l, “I know that he is probably going to be missing a few shows next season because of the traveling back and forth.” She also got sassy about it, in classic Cheryl style: “I get it,” she quipped, “especially when you are 120 years old, it just sucks.” Burke Burn! Don’t you know 70 is the new 50?
Cheryl gave similar scoop to Extra in July, so it seems like a safe bet to expect Len to return but with a few gaps here in there. We’ll have to wait and see how many shows he might miss, and if they decide to do more guest judge replacements or hire a permanent fourth judge and work around that dynamic.
We can’t wait for ABC to start making some announcements! The Season 19 cast is meant to be revealed on September 4, but it’s possible they’ll confirm other details before that point.
DWTS Season 19 premieres Monday, September 15 from 8 to 10 p.m. ET on ABC.