Variety reported on Monday, March 20, that the choreographer, 34, is stepping in to replace Tyra Banks. The model, 49, took over for Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews in July 2020 following their shocking exits from the ballroom competition. Hough will join Alfonso Ribeiro on the ABC series.
“It is such an honor to be rejoining Dancing with the Stars as co-host. The show holds such a special place in my heart from the many years and different roles I have had the privilege of being a part of,” Hough told Variety in a statement. “The incredible team that brings the ballroom to life every night has been my family for the past 17 years.”
She added: “I am so excited to reunite with Alfonso, Carrie Ann, Bruno, Derek, the unbelievably talented pros, and the amazing cast on the dance floor. The energy is magnetic every time you step foot in to the ballroom and I can’t wait to feel it again — and of course to share it all with the absolute best and most loyal fans — for another exciting season.”
Hough made her DWTS debut on season 4 in 2007, taking home the mirrorball trophy with partner Apolo Anton Ohno. She won back-to-back championships, securing the coveted prize again with Hélio Castroneves during season 5. She returned for three more seasons, competing with Adam Carolla, Cody Linley and Chuck Wicks before leaving the show in 2009.
The Utah native made her ballroom comeback five years later, joining Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli on the judging panel. Hough remained in the role until 2017. (Her brother and fellow former DWTS pro, Derek Hough, has also appeared as a judge on the reality series.)
Banks began her hosting duties in the ballroom during season 29 in late 2020, and her performance received mixed reviews from longtime viewers. After a handful of on-camera flubs — including wardrobe malfunctions and an elimination mix-up — the Life-Size actress teamed up with Ribeiro for season 31 as the show transferred to Disney+ in 2022.
The America’s Next Top Model alum teased her DWTS future on Thursday, March 16, telling TMZ that she was ready to turn her attention on other projects. “I think it’s time to graduate from the dance floor to the stock market floor. Mic drop,” she said, citing her SMiZE and Dream ice cream brand as one of her top priorities.
She continued: “I feel it’s time for me to really focus on my business and my entrepreneurship. I think it’s time. I think my heart and soul are in my business and in producing TV … and you can’t do that hosting a show. So you’ll see me creating things, not just hosting things.”
Before signing on as host, Julianne expressed her interest in returning to the judges’ table following Goodman’s retirement. (The 78-year-old U.K. native announced his exit at the end of season 31 in November 2022.)
“That would be amazing,” the Footloose actress gushed to E! News later that month. “I would love to be back in the ballroom at any point, just because that’s my family. It’s funny — there’s been so many iterations where I was on as a dancer and then as a judge, and who knows what’s next, but I love that show. I love that family so much, so you never know!”
The Broadway vet gave Goodman a heartfelt sendoff, reflecting on their long history. “I’ve known him since I was 10 years old,” she said. “He has just completely changed then narrative of ballroom dancing and made it what it is today, and we look to Len for all of the advice and the wisdom. I just want to say thank you to him for being the voice of ballroom dancing for all of us.”
An official premiere has not yet been announced, but DWTS is expected to return to Disney+ this fall.