OUTSPOKEN “Dancing with the Stars” judge LEN GOODMAN may soon be waltzing off the show, an insider says.
Producers may be looking to replace the 69-year-old dapper Brit with someone younger and hipper, the insider adds.
The ABC dance competition has been on TV for 17 seasons, but a steady ratings decline has prompted the network to reduce its airtime from two nights to one a week.
And on the OCT. 7 ep, former “DWTS” dance pro Julianne Hough, 25, tested the waters, sitting in for the veteran judge alongside Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli.
“Producers are trying out new options in hopes of improving viewership,” revealed a set insider.
According to the insider, “DWTS” producers may be looking to “bring in someone fresh like Julianne. She’s gorgeous, popular and has the experience.
“But since she’s chasing a big movie career, the network execs are keeping their options open. Their goal is to find an entertainment personality between the ages of 21 and 40 who has great chemistry with the other judges.”
Former dance pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy, 33, is also at the top of the list.
When asked recently if he’d like to return to the show as a judge, the hunky Ukrainian said: “Absolutely! I want it to have the ratings we used to have.”
The official reason given for Goodman’s Oct. 7 absence was that he was preparing for his British series “Strictly Come Dancing.”
But the show’s brass are well aware that “American Idol” boosted its ratings once they brought in younger judges, including Nicki Minaj.
According to the source, if they ever were to decide to replace the legendary Len, “either Julianne or Maks would be a perfect replacement.”