Maksim Chmerkovskiy has been pretty definitive about not wanting to return to Dancing With the Stars as a competing pro. That life is behind him — unless he changes his mind, which is fine with us.

But there are other things he can do, including judging. He was a very positive guest judge during Season 17, and when asked if he’d want to return on a permanent basis, he said there had been no discussions yet with the higher-ups, but they’d cross that bridge if they got there.

We’re not 100 percent to that bridge yet, but we can see it from here. DWTS Season 18’s premiere date was just announced at the TCAs, and ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee talked about what’s next for the show — and Maks.

“We'll continue working with @MaksimC on #DWTS in the future,” Paul said (via @TVGuide). “[W]e loved having him as a judge.”

It bodes well for future judging when the network prez is in your corner. But the DWTS showrunner is executive producer Conrad Green, so that might be a decision that boils down to him. ABC has control over what days of the week DWTS runs — which is how we lost Tuesday’s Results Shows — but judging decisions may be more on the production level.

What role would you like Maks to play on Season 18? If he doesn’t want to compete, how about as a guest or permanent judge? If not that, maybe just to dance on occasion or choreograph routines?

Catch up on more DWTS Season 18 updates, and watch the premiere on Monday, March 17 on ABC.

Source: @TVGuide