Simon Cowell revealed the future of the talent competition series America’s Got Talent and shared how he feels the show will move forward in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The series, which has entered its 15th season, will reportedly film new episodes as a remotely produced competition until large groups are again allowed to gather for public events such as the taping of television shows.
The television personality and music producer stated to People Magazine that the series intends to work around the shutdown for the time being.
The show filmed audition episodes earlier this year prior to the pandemic. Those were shot in front of a studio audience before social distancing guidelines determined that the series could not have that many people in such close quarters seated next to one another. Filming reportedly continued without an audience for a brief period of time before the show’s production schedule was abruptly shut down as stay-at-home orders were put in place.
“We started to realize that, for obvious reasons, the audience was getting smaller and smaller and smaller. We had this obligation to make sure that everyone got their fair share, and was auditioned well,” Simon told People of trying to work around the constraints put on production due to the pandemic.
“So, we literally squeezed in as many, many people as we could,” he continued to the publication. “And as you’ll see from the first episode, we found some unbelievably talented people — just fantastic people this year.”
The show supplemented its batch of hopefuls by allowing contestants to audition online. Simon also revealed that he plans to make sure the show goes live this summer, stating that the production team has different scenarios on the table that can be implemented so the performers, judges, and crew that diligently worked to get America’s Got Talent on the air can do their jobs safely.
The fan-favorite series features Simon and judges Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel, and Sofia Vergara. The show is hosted by Terry Crews. The revamped panel comes after the NBC competition series found itself with two vacancies after both Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough exited the series in November 2019 after appearing for just one season. Season 15 will be Sofia’s first as a judge on the series. Heidi made her triumphant return to the show after judging from 2013-2018.
The series will return to NBC beginning May 26. It will air the first of the audition episodes taped prior to the pandemic, which will feature amazing acts from around the globe competing for a $1 million prize and the opportunity to headline a show in Las Vegas, Nevada.