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Kym Johnson Leaving 'DWTS' For Season 17

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KYM JOHNSON LEAVING DWTS
ABC

A "Dancing With The Stars" mainstay is signing off ... for now at least.

After 14 seasons on the ABC celebrity dance competition series, pro Kym Johnson told Us Weekly she won't be a part of the "Dancing With The Stars'" upcoming Season 17.

"I will be taking the next season off ... so that I may accept an amazing work opportunity back home in Australia," Johnson, who first appeared on "DWTS" Australia in 2004, said without providing further detail. She appeared on the down under installment of "DWTS" for its first three seasons before joining the U.S. version for Season 3 in 2006.

In her seven years on "DWTS" stateside, Johnson has won the Mirror Ball two times -- one with Donny Osmond in Season 9 and the other with Hines Ward in Season 12.

Johnson told Us Weekly that she hopes to be "back on the dance floor for Season 18."

The lack of Johnson might not be the only pro change "DWTS" fans will notice in Season 17. ABC president Paul Lee told reporters at the Television Critics Association Summer 2013 press tour earlier this month that that Maks Chmerkovskiy "may well be back" this fall.

Plus, there have been rumors that "DWTS" is replacing the judges panel, which the series has had in place since the onset. In May, the New York Post reported that Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Toniolo did not have deals in place for Season 17. "Nothing has been decided yet about next season. There definitely will be format changes and it's possible there may be some casting changes but those discussions are just beginning," a source told E! News.

And for the first time in the ABC series' eight-year history, "DWTS" has been downsized for Season 17and will combine the traditional performance and results shows into one two-hour episode. "DWTS" will air weekly on Monday nights instead of its long-standing format, which was a two-hour performance show on Monday and an hourlong results show on Tuesday.

"Dancing with the Stars" Season 17 premieres Monday, Sept. 16, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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