Julianne Hough Judge Rumors Swirl: 'Dancing With The Stars' To Have 4 Judges?

There are rumors swirling this week that Julianne Hough's judge duties on Dancing With the Stars are about to be expanded from occasional guest judging spots to a full-time role. Though the show is playing coy at the moment, it seems Good Morning America will be making the official DWTS announcement on Thursday's show. What's the scoop?

It has been speculated for some time now that Dancing With the Stars will make some changes to the judge's panel this fall for season 19. Many wondered if Len Goodman would be leaving, but it seems that Len, Bruno and Carrie Ann are all returning. The past couple of seasons have had guest judges regularly, with both Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Julianne Hough judging at various points. Now TMZ says that the show has offered Julianne a regular spot as a judge.

Though at this point the sources indicate a contract has been offered, the big GMA tease certainly would indicate that things have been solidified. As PureDWTS notes via the DWTS fan who caught the tease, the commercial about the judging announcement apparently showcased a woman dancing behind a screen. While the commercial mentioned "sexy" in the context of the new judge, which could apply to many possible new judges, the woman dancing does seem to be a clue.

Adding to the Julianne Hough as judge buzz, E! Online shares that insiders have confirmed to them that the former pro has been offered a spot as a fourth judge on season 19. Naturally Julianne herself has kept mum so far on Twitter. Though many think three judges is plenty, it seems Len will be gone for a number of shows, and this might be a solid way to ease the show into a new trio of judges should Len leave entirely in the following season.

Many Dancing With the Stars fans thought Maksim Chmerkovskiy would be the next judge if someone were to be added. While many are still hoping that will somehow be the case, there have been no hints at all about such a thing from Lizzie Grubman, Maks' publicist. His fans know that usually Grubman is on top of such teases, so many would say it all does seem to be adding up that Maks isn't in line for this opportunity.

Could Dancing With the Stars be heading in an entirely different direction? The answer one way or the other should become much more clear on Thursday morning, from the sounds of things. Whether it's Julianne Hough as judge, Maksim Chmerkovskiy or someone else, the decision most definitely will be both praised and trashed. Stay tuned for more DWTS season 19 news as the cast speculation is building as well.

[Image via MSN]