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'Dancing with the Stars': what to expect ahead of September 15th premiere

Julianne Hough returns to Dancing with the Stars as judge
Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Dancing with the Stars” is returning for another season of dancing and there are changes to the show on the horizon. ABC’s signature dancing show is back in two weeks with a whole new crop of celebrities and pros looking for that mirror balled trophy. Will you be watching? Here’s what to expect when the show premieres on Monday, September 15th on ABC.

A New Judge: After a new band last season and some first time pros, the show shakes it up even more with a new judge. Former pro-dancer Julianne Hough is joining the judging panel. Hough joins ballroom judge Len Goodman and dancer/choreographers Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba in the fourth chair and will be giving her insight and expertise to the pros and celebrities looking to take home the mirror ball trophy. Hough, who left the show to focus on her acting and singing career, it a two-time champion on the series having won with celebrity partners Apolo Anton Ohno and Helio Castroneves. Hough’s critiques should be colorful considering she will be critiquing the work of close friends and family. Hough’s brother Derek, a four-time “Dancing with the Stars” champion, is a pro this season along with many pros that Hough has competed with.

A new Executive Producer: In addition to a fourth judge, the show has a new executive producer since longtime producer Conrad Green let the series at the end of last season. “…After almost 10 years, the opportunity to take on a project with the immense potential of [executive producing Fox’s new show] “Utopia” was simply too good to pass up,” Green said upon leaving the show. “The ambition and scale of the challenge is thrilling. I'll miss everyone I've worked with on Dancing with the Stars and look forward to this next exciting chapter." Rod Wade debuts as show runner on the 15th.

New Pros: Audiences will be missing Maks Chmerkovskiy this season but there will be a lot of new pro- dancers to root for and to provide eye candy. First time pros this season include Artem Chigvintsev, Allison Hocker and Keoikanster Motsepe (Keo) joining returning favorites, Mark Ballas, Cheryl Burke, Witney Carson, Valentin Chmerkovskiy (Val), Tony Dovolani, Derek Hough, Peta Murgatroyd, Emma Slater and Karina Smirnoff.

New Celebrities: The celebrity cast of the this season won’t be announced until September 4th , but as always, pretty accurate leaks are circulating ahead of the GMA planned announcement. There's always one person that makes you watch the show even after you swear you wouldn't and and the ringer who's had so much dancing experience, they could be a pro themselves.

E! insists that former soap star and Janet Jackson video model, Antonio Sabato, Jr. is looking to put on his dancing shoes this season.

Other names being discussed are Bachelorette Andi Dorfman, “American Ninja Warrior” contestant Kacy Catanzaro, country singer, Jessie James Decker, “The Real Housewives of Atlanta’s” Kandi Burress and Soccer player, Tim Howard.

The celebrity cast will be announced at September 4th on “Good Morning America.”

“Dancing with the Stars” premieres Monday, September 15th on ABC.

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