Scheduling commitments mean the longtime judge won't return for season 21
Though some were holding out hope that Len Goodman would reverse last December’s announcement that he won’t be on Dancing with the Stars‘ judging panel for season 21, PEOPLE has confirmed that the ballroom aficionado is out due to scheduling and family commitments.
“Len will not be returning as a judge this season on Dancing with the Stars due to his schedule as a judge on Strictly Come Dancing in the U.K. and the birth of his new grandson,” executive producer Rob Wade tells PEOPLE. “He still might be involved in the season at some capacity, but we will have to wait and see. We are planning on having great guest judges for some shows to join Bruno [Tonioli], Carrie Ann [Inaba] and Julianne [Hough], and I’m sure we will see Len in the ballroom again soon.”
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Goodman’s departure comes on the heels of two pieces of good DWTS-related news this week: On Tuesday, former Mirrorball Trophy winner Karina Smirnoff announced she’ll be returning to the ballroom for season 21; on the same day, Hough flashed a shiny new ring on that finger, proclaiming her engagement to Washington Capitals hockey player Brooks Laich.
Dancing with the Stars returns Sept. 14 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.