Season 15 of America's Got Talent has only just begun to show the effects of COVID-19 on its filming process, and fans should expect more changes going forward. With the show still needing to film a chunk of its season, the NBC talent competition had to make some adjustments to its production to ensure a safe environment for everyone involved.
The latest updates on what will change with America's Got Talent have arrived via Deadline, and for anyone shocked by the first audience-less episode, that was just the tip of the iceberg. The series will look much different upon return, so for simplicity's sake, here are four key ways the show is changing production for the rest of Season 15.
Judges Sitting Separate Outdoors And Arriving In Style
America's Got Talent has shifted episodes to an outdoor theater that has a huge movie stage modeled to resemble a drive-in movie theater. Judges Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Sofia Vergara, and Heidi Klum will all pull up in separate cars and sit in socially distanced chairs as they watch the performers. The first post-quarantine episode has already been shot and is set to air Tuesday, July 28.
AGT Cut The Number Of Judge Cut Episodes
Typically, the judge cut rounds of America's Got Talent turn out to be 4 episodes in length. This won't be the case in Season 15, as the show wished to smooth the process of its shift to outdoors and therefore condensed the judge cuts to just one episode. It sounds like a bummer for AGT fans thinking they'll be robbed of episodes, but not to worry! There's a plan for that gap period we'll get into a bit lower.
Contestants Will Be Cut, But Fewer Than Usual
The judge cuts episode will see the talent pool of America's Got Talent Season 15 shrink, but not as drastically as one may think. 72 competitors performed for the taping, and 60 will escape to potentially appear on the live shows. Another 20 of those acts will be culled before the live shows tentatively set for Tuesday, August 11, bringing the overall total competitors for live shows to 40. Competitors will compete for four weeks, which is up from last season's 36 competitors competing over three weeks.
New Special Episodes To Accommodate The Gap
America's Got Talent won't have an episode Tuesday, July 7, but after that pause will return to television with a new auditions episode on July 14. The following week AGT will run the best of Season 15 auditions episode on July 21st, and then the judge cuts will air the 28th. Outside one week this effectively closes the gap between the auditions and judge cuts, meaning AGT viewers will have new episodes to enjoy on three successive Tuesdays.
America's Got Talent Season 15 airs Tuesdays on NBC. Continue to stick with CinemaBlend for more on the competition, and for the latest news happening in television and movies.