After keeping the same judge line-up for 16 long seasons, "Dancing with the Stars" may replace some familiar faces on the show. Rumor has it, the hit dancing competition series will feature new judges for season 17 as Len Goodman's and Carrie Ann Inaba's contracts are up in the end of season 16.
"No one has a confirmed contract yet," a source tells New York Post's Page Six. "I think Bruno [Tonioli] will be back, but Carrie Ann and Len are probably gone. The network has been very evasive about it."
The source adds that the show will likely replace some of its popular pro dancers, such as Derek Hough, Cheryl Burke and Mark Ballas. "[The producers] will use this time to figure out how to restructure the show and trim fat off the budget," the so-called insider reveals. "The show has become too expensive."
Another source, however, claims that "nothing has been decided yet about next season." The source tells E! News, "It's true no one is locked in under contract yet, but that's not necessarily unusual at this stage. There definitely will be format changes and it's possible there may be some casting changes but those discussions are just beginning."
Another source, meanwhile, plays down the rumor and calls it "speculative" as the last season just ended. "The producers will take a break and then start discussions about what the fall will look like," the source says.
The format change mentioned above is related to the downsizing of "DWTS" episode per week. The reality series will only air once a week next season, with the results expected to be announced at the beginning of each new episode.