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As things begin to open up after months of required quarantine for everyone, we're starting to see Hollywood go back into production on its many television shows, in the hope of being able to give us new content in the coming weeks. While the hit NBC talent competition America's Got Talent was just able to finish filming its audition shows earlier this year, taping on the judge cuts had to wait until new safety measures were put into place and they were allowed to return to set. Now, Simon Cowell is revealing the one thing he regrets about the new format.
Usually, the judge cuts for America's Got Talent take place over four episodes, with all the acts who made it past those initial auditions in front of a live audience, auditioning again for the judges in a studio setting so they can determine who gets to go on to the live shows. This year, because of the safety procedures put into place, the cast and crew filmed outdoors on a lot which had been converted to look like a drive-in theater, and viewers will only get to see one episode of judge cuts. And, Cowell has now decided that he regrets that move. Here's what he told People:
In hindsight, now having seen it, I wish we would've done four episodes. That's my only frustration. I think personally it's an effective way to do a Judge Cuts show than what we previously had done.
While Cowell didn't specify how long it usually took to film the four judge cuts episodes in previous seasons, the cuts for Season 15 were filmed over two days when they were able to resume production back in June. On the first day, judges Cowell, Sofia Vergara, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel did video calls with the acts to announce who had made it to the live shows, and chose 10 acts to tape new performances so they could determine whether or not those acts would move on to the next day.
Seeing as how the process for doing their cuts had to be changed dramatically from previous years, and it sounds like this is the first time any serious changes have been made to the process, Cowell admitted that the way they did judge cuts this season was more effective than it had been in the past. But, now that he's seen the final result, he also wishes that they had packaged more of the process so that they could have still given the audience those four judge cut episodes.
The good news, though, is that this doesn't mean that AGT will have a shorter season this year. To help fill up its filming schedule, the live shows (which are set to begin on August 11) will feature a whopping 44 acts across four weeks for the quarterfinals, as opposed to the standard 36 acts performing over three weeks that fans are used to. NBC will also be airing a special for the show's 15th anniversary on August 4, so viewers also have that to look forward to.
While there are no concrete plans in place for how they'll film the, sure to be somewhat wacky, live shows just yet, Simon Cowell and the rest of the AGT team are determined to finish the season, help every act put on the best show possible and deliver that $1 million prize. You can catch America's Got Talent at 8 p.m. EST, Tuesdays on NBC, but for more to watch in the coming weeks, be sure to check out our guide to summer TV and the fall premiere schedule!