By Kevin Jacobsen, EnStars | Aug 05, 2013 02:14 PM EDT
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When Dancing With the Stars premieres with its seventeenth season this fall, pro dancer Maksim Chmerkovskiy may be back.
ABC president Paul Lee talked Dancing With the Stars at the Television Critics Association press tour on Sunday and discussed Chmerkovskiy's status on the show.
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"Maks is part of the family. He may well be back. We love having him part of it," Lee said. The dancer, who is a fan favorite on the show, sat out of season 16 this spring. He released a statement in February in which he stated that he wanted to "explore other opportunities" beyond Dancing With the Stars.
"I'm going to take this time to dive into producing and acting, while fulfilling my sponsorship obligations," Chmerkovskiy continued in the statement. He starred in a Broadway production called Forever Tango with fellow Dancing With the Stars pro Karina Smirnoff through the month of July.
Watch this video of Chmerkovskiy discussing his depature from Dancing With the Stars:
Though Dancing With the Stars producers have neither announced the celebrity cast nor the pro dancers returning for season 17, pro dancer Sharna Burgess is already revealing who she hopes she'll be partnered with.
"I would love to have Victor Cruz or John Stamos," Burgess told PureDWTS Sunday. She added that if she could "shoot for the stars" in terms of her celebrity dancing wish-list, she listed either Hugh Jackman or Bradley Cooper as dream partners.
Burgess joined Dancing With the Stars in the spring and was paired with comedian Andy Dick. The pair came in seventh place.
As for when the new celebrity cast and pro dancers will be announced for season 17, the announcement will be later than usual.
TVGrapevine tweeted Monday that the cast would be revealed on Sept. 4 on Good Morning America. The fall cast of celebrities is usually announced in August.
Season 17 of Dancing With the Stars will premiere Monday, Sept. 16 at 8 p.m. on ABC.
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