‘DWTS’ Judge Derek Hough Will Host & Develop Television Specials In Major New ABC Deal

ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars” stars Derek Hough.
Frank Ockenfels / ABC

Current Dancing with the Stars judge Derek Hough has inked a new deal with ABC Television. In this role, he will host and develop specials and entertainment programming for the network. This comes on the heels of Derek’s return to the ballroom after an absence of six years to take a seat as a judge alongside Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli.

Derek has replaced Len Goodman, who was unable to travel to the United States from London due to coronavirus-related restrictions. Len will still appear on the show remotely throughout the season.

“Coming home to ABC and being given the opportunity to develop projects for them that are as much on brand for them as they are for me makes this even that more exciting for me,” said Derek in an official press release.

“Derek is a creative force not just in the ballroom but also every room he enters. He has been part of our ABC family for many years; the energy and dedication he brings to every project is palpable. We value his partnership immensely and look forward to the exciting and imaginative projects to come,” said Karey Burke, president of ABC Entertainment.

Carrie Ann Inaba, Derek Hough and Bruno Tonioli judge dancing with the stars.
  Eric McCandless / ABC

Since his return to the show where he made his dynamic debut in the entertainment industry as a pro dancer, Derek has constructively criticized the stars who are in competition with one another this season. In this way, Derek has added an insider’s touch to the judging table. As a pro, he was in the shoes of those who now wait in front of him to be corrected. His recommendations thus far have been full of information that both the stars and pros can use as they move forward in the competition.

During his original tenure on Dancing with the Stars — which lasted from 2007 through 2016 — he won a mirrorball trophy a record-breaking six times alongside celebrities Brooke Burke, Nicole Scherzinger, Jennifer Grey, Kellie Pickler, Amber Riley, and Bindi Irwin. He ended his run as a professional dancer on the series just one week short of the show’s semifinals, when he was partnered with Marilu Henner for Season 23. The couple was eliminated after they performed two routines for the theme of the week, “Showstoppers Night.”

Over the past several years, Derek has worked with the network on two of the Disney Family Singalong specials. He also portrayed the role of Noah West in a multi-episode arc on the country music drama Nashville in 2014.