Julianne Hough, who has boosted her career through several seasons-long stints with “Dancing With the Stars,” is set to return to the ballroom, this time as host. The news comes on the heels of Tyra Banks announcing she will not return for Season 32.
Alfonso Ribeiro will return as co-host, and Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli and Derek Hough are set as judges. (Len Goodman exited at the end of Season 31.)
“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 says in an exclusive statement to Variety. “The incredible team that brings the ballroom to life every night has been my family for the past 17 years. 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’s new tenure at “Dancing With the Stars” comes as Disney continues to grow the program, which was a mainstay on ABC from 2005 to 2021. The company last year decided to run the show on Disney+, possibly as a way to generate larger, simultaneous audiences for the streaming venue.
She first appeared on “DWTS” as a pro dancer in 2007. She won back to back seasons — 4 and 5 — with partners Apolo Anton Ohno and Hélio Castroneves, respectively. She departed the show in 2009, but came back in 2014 as a judge, before leaving again in 2017. She appeared as a guest judge on the show in 2021.
Hough has appeared in movies including “Burlesque” and “Footloose” and was a judge on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” in 2019. Additionally, she co-hosted the 75th Tony Awards: Act One with Darren Criss in 2022.
Her brother was a professional dancer on “DWTS” from 2007 to 2016, taking home the mirrorball trophy a record-breaking six times. In 2020, he returned to the show as a judge for Season 29.
(Excerpt) Read more in: Variety