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We’ve known for a while now that Howard Stern would not be returning for America’s Got Talent next summer. Now, the long-running NBC competition series has found Stern’s replacement, and he's another big name. Simon Cowell will take over judging duties on America’s Got Talent when the show returns for Season 11.
America’s Got Talent has already been renewed for Season 11, so learning a new judge has been signed on to replace Stern isn’t a huge surprise. What is a little surprising is how quickly the long-running series managed to find a replacement. Apparently, however, Cowell’s been a judge on Britain’s Got Talent for a while, so he does have some experience in judging non-singing acts. Plus, the famous judge and producer also happens to be the creator and executive producer of the NBC series, so it wasn’t exactly hard to get the gig. Despite this, Cowell told Today that it was the “network’s decision” to officially sign him on. He also told USA Today he’s just happy it worked out.
About five or six years ago, I was offered the chance to be on the show and, at the time, I couldn't do it. But I was a bit disappointed that I wasn't able to.
Cowell’s been a popular figure in the States since he signed on to American Idol back in 2002. However, he’s been away from American television for the past couple of years, ever since Fox gave the axe to the high budget competition series The X Factor. He’s still been working, obviously, just not on the American small screen, but it will be nice to get back his quick-witted barbs and the occasional, “I don’t mean to be rude, buts” from him.
Although we haven’t heard about any of the other mainstay judges leaving, reports indicate that the show might move back to Los Angeles, where it initially was shot before moving to New York to accommodate Stern. With that in mind, the makeup for Season 11 has not been cemented. This past season, Heidi Klum, Mel B. and Howie Mandel rounded out the judges panel, while Nick Cannon continued as the host. Mandel and Cannon have been around forever, so I doubt they will quit, but we’ll have to wait and see if Mel B. and Klum will make it work.
America’s Got Talent will not be returning to the schedule until the summer of 2016, so there’s plenty of time for NBC to move the show back to the West Coast and figure out all the specifics. For now, you can see what else is coming out with our fall TV premiere schedule.