Val and Maksim Chmerkovskiy React to Julianne Hough as New 'DWTS' Co-Host, Talk Possible Return (Exclusive)

The brothers talk to ET about the celebrity dance competition's return to ABC and their new wine-inspired show, 'Savor After Hours.'

Maksim and Val Chmerkovskiy are Dancing With the Stars royalty, and the brothers shared their thoughts on recent changes to the long-running celebrity dance competition show. 

After one season on Disney+, DWTS announced in May the competition series was returning to ABC for season 32. The news of the move came just weeks after Julianne Hough was named as the new co-host opposite Alfonso Ribeiro, following Tyra Banks' departure after three seasons. 

"I'm excited. We have a really robust and wide range in audience and I think going back to network television feels not nostalgic but it feels right to be back in our original home," Val told ET's Denny Directo of the return to ABC while promoting his and Maksim's upcoming wine-inspired dance show, Savor After Hours. "But again, Disney+ has done wonders for us last season. We were on billboards again; it felt special. I'm glad that we can take that specialty and broadcast it back on network television."

Though no official word on which dance pros could be coming back to DWTS, Val -- who has competed on the show for 18 seasons -- expressed interest in returning for season 32. "From my end, yes, I would love to be back on Dancing With the Stars," he confirmed, adding that his wife, Jenna Johnson, "would love to be back on Dancing With the Stars" too. 

Maks, meanwhile, last competed on DWTS in season 25 back in 2017, when he was paired with Vanessa Lachey. While it seems he's content not to return to the dance floor in the competitive sense, Maks shared that his wife, Peta Murgatroyd, who's expecting the couple's second child, "would love to be back on Dancing With the Stars." "She'd love to be back," he assured.

The brothers weighed in on Banks' decision to leave her post as DWTS host after three seasons, acknowledging that the model-entrepreneur stepped into the role during a difficult time.

"I was very happy for Alfonso, that was my first and foremost reaction. It wasn't the negativity towards Tyra or whether or not I think she did a good job or not, we can turn that page if we want and now I'm super happy for this dude who owned it, who has it. He's the guy for the job," Maks said of Ribeiro, who will be assuming Banks' hosting responsibilities.

"Just to speak on Tyra. She came in at a very turbulent time in the show and in entertainment in general. We were going through COVID, a lot of that onstage rules of distance and all that stuff I think was a hurdle for her and for all of us to bond and connect and I think she held it down," Val credited. Added Maks, "It's three seasons of hard work and she was very kind to everybody."

The elder Chmerkovskiy also commented on Hough joining Ribeiro as a DWTS host, calling the move "awesome."

"She's not just qualified, she's kind of been in every single role in the show and it's a family show, so that familiarity is important," Maks said, referring to Hough's previous roles as dance pro, judge and performer. "I think those are the things that people at home are looking for as well. She's familiar. There's a lot of ties and because of that it'll add to the show and she'll do a great job."

The DWTS family recently said goodbye to one of its own -- former head judge Len Goodman, who died at 78 in April. Both Maks and Val paid tribute to Goodman, whom they say changed their lives and gave credibility to dance.

"Len Goodman had that type of authority in the dance world and he earned that authority, not just on camera but behind the scenes for 50 years of being in competitive ballroom dancing, so we know Len from those days. And then to have been introduced to Len on camera in front of millions of people, he felt like family," Val said. "He felt like a granddad to us, our dance granddad and yeah, we'll miss him. I think the show will be very different without him."

"Just looking back at whatever I look at that was significant for me, he was there in some way or form. I felt close to him as a person, but I felt close to the idea of Len Goodman... I think Len was the anchor that held all three of them down through some periods of time," Maks said of Goodman's impact on the original judging panel, which consisted of Bruno Tonioli and Carrie Ann Inaba. "But the character of Len Goodman is what made the show a big part of what made the show stick around, stay and he developed that character for other countries. They all try to find a Len Goodman and it's hard because they can't, really."

As the Chmerkovkiys wait for word on whether they and their loved ones will be back for season 32, the duo is preparing for their new show in Napa Valley, Savor After Hours, which is described as "not your typical cabaret or wine tasting." Created by Mark "Swany" Swanhart, the show features Maks and Val, along with a talented cast of performers, as they "ignite the night on and off the stage as guests indulge in featured wines that will be in regular rotation."

"It's an incredible opportunity to first and foremost for us to do art," Maks said of the show. "We missed live performances and I keep saying this for the last couple [years] you never know when it's your last, so I treat every project as that. I'm of a certain age. This is a great, incredible blessing to be a part of."

"I'm at a period of time where our craft requires a physical ability at a certain level and it's not a matter of doing it forever, it's about doing it at a quality level. We've done it at an elite level for a long time and we want to continue to do that and sustain that and those days are numbered. But I think the perspective is shifted," Val added. "We're evolving and just like wine, you age and you become wiser, better, smarter, more creative and this show is going to be a reflection of that."

Of course, dance being the family business, could there be a chance their wives could pop by the show? "Peta is due next month, so that'll be tricky," Val admitted, who revealed that Jenna and their 4-month-old son, Rome, will relocate to Napa "and enjoy our summer up there." Though Val is just beginning his fatherhood journey, it's been "incredible, the greatest responsibility I've ever experienced and felt -- until this show."

Nevertheless, Maks said he's "excited" to have the family come out. "We also have an amazing 6-year-old that I'm excited to be, not part of the show, but be part of this experience with me," he said of his son, Shai. "I have a buddy now traveling with [me] and the opportunity to be seen by him now and in this day and age, see me onstage and actually understand what's going on, it's another beautiful experience."

For more information on Savor After Hours With Maks and Val, visit The wine-inspired dance show kicks off June 3 in Napa, California.