Maksim Chmerkovskiy Is Returning to Dancing With the Stars, Sources Say

Exclusive! "Maks will return this season as a pro," a source close to production on the ABC reality hit tells E! News. "Everyone's looking forward to having him back."

By Tierney Bricker Feb 27, 2014 5:04 PMTags
Maksim ChmerkovskiyJerritt Clark

Maks is back!

Maksim Chmerkovskiy is set to return to Dancing With the Stars for its 18th season, sources connected to the show exclusivelly tells E! News. The fan favorite exited the ballroom as a professional dancer after Season 15. (Another source tells us that Derek Hough will also be returning to compete in the new season, which premieres March 17.)

"Maks will return this season as a pro," a production source says. "Everyone's looking forward to having him back."

Calls to Maks' team were not returned and ABC does not comment on casting rumors. The full cast for the ABC reality hit's new season will be announced on March 4 on Good Morning America.

Since leaving the show in February of 2013, Maks has made two appearances on the ABC reality hit. He returned in Season 16 to perform alongside his brother, fellow pro Val Chmerkovskiy, and again in Season 17 as a guest judge.

"I've been a Pro dancer on the show for about seven years now and am eager to explore other opportunities that have been made possible because of Dancing with the Stars, " he said when announcing his departure. "I'm going to take this time to dive into producing and acting, while fulfilling my sponsorship obligations. A big thank you to all of my fans for your never-ending support. I also want to thank the entire cast and production of Dancing with the Stars."

Maks' return comes after E! News exclusively confirmed that cohost Brooke Burke-Charvet will not return for Season 18. Soon after, ABC announced that sports reporter Erin Andrews, who finished in third place during season 10, will take over cohosting duties alongside returning host Tom Bergeron.

And that isn't the only change the reality dancing competition show is undergoing as Ray Chew will succeed Harold Wheeler as the show's music director. 

We exclusively reported that Real Housewives of Atlanta star NeNe Leakes and Full House star Candace Cameron Bure are set to compete in the ballroom this upcoming season.

Dancing With the Stars Season 18 premieres on Monday, March 17 on ABC.

—Reporting by Beth Sobol, Marc Malkin and Michelle Falls