Since its debut in June 2006, America's Got Talent has been a ratings winner for ABC, and one that has been largely without any forms of controversy helping to boost or limit its viewership. But that all changed earlier this year, when longtime host Nick Cannon exited the show over "creative differences" with NBC. Though many were hopeful that cooler heads would prevail, with Cannon returning to host Season 12 as planned, it looks like that ship has sailed, and the producers have signed former America's Next Top Model judge Tyra Banks to take over.
Getting Tyra Banks as the face at the front of America's Got Talent is both a really smart decision and a potentially not so smart decision. It's not much of a mystery why the idea is a good one, since so much of the model's career has taken her in front of the camera in one capacity or another. Beyond her Fresh Prince of Bel-Air appearances and years on the talk show circuit, she hosted The Tyra Banks Show from 2005-2011, hosted over 180 episodes of Fablife from 2015-2016 (before quitting) and, of course, was a major force on America's Next Top Model for 22 seasons. Not to mention being a board member for the most recent season of Celebrity Apprentice. There's no lack of familiarity with her in the least.
On the flip side, Tyra Banks is known for being a well put-together woman whose hosting presence can be considered pretty tame, at least on the shows where that behavior was called for. Anyone who has ever watched Nick Cannon hosting America's Got Talent knows that "tame" does not describe his efforts, as he is a ball of manic energy when it comes to both showcasing both the contestants' oddball skills and lightly antagonizing the judges. Granted, Banks was hired as a replacement host for AGT, and not as a Nick Cannon substitute, so perhaps she'll give the show a new flavor that fans will immediately get behind.
A little over a month ago, this bit of news would have seemed like pure fiction, as the big Cannon-troversy formed in February as a result of jokes made during Nick Cannon's Showtime comedy special Stand Up, Don't Shoot. After rumors surfaced that NBC execs were considering firing the comedian for making disparaging comments about the network during his set, Cannon publicly resigned from the show, offering up an extensive explanation behind it, saying it definitely wasn't the first time that networks and/or studios had tried to silence him in some way. Though many thought the situation would blow over, with Cannon agreeing to return, that didn't happen, and now his void has been filled.
No premiere date has been set just yet for America's Got Talent Season 12, but now that Tyra Banks has been secured as a replacement, one has to assume ABC will announce something soon. And we can bet that it'll make its usual debut in the back half of May. While waiting to hear more, practice your ventriloquism by having your hand read our midseason premiere schedule out loud.