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Simon Cowell to Judge ‘America’s Got Talent’

Simon Cowell will judge the upcoming 11th season of “America’s Got Talent.”

The former “American Idol” judge is replacing Howard Stern on the NBC reality competition.

“I am really thrilled to be joining ‘America’s Got Talent’ next season,” Cowell said in a statement on Thursday. “What I love about this show is that it’s open to absolutely anyone. America has some fantastic talent just waiting to be discovered, and I would like that talent to come to our show, including any dogs who can sing!”

“The good news is ‘America’s Got Talent’ is back next year and the even better news is so am I!” Cowell also tweeted on Thursday morning.

Cowell created the show’s format that’s now a worldwide property when it launched in 2006. Cowell has also judged both the U.S. and original U.K. versions of “The X Factor,” where he was notorious for his curt, harsh comments to contestants (and his plain black T-shirts)

“Simon knows this format better than anyone and he’s been producing the show with us since the beginning, so we’re thrilled to have him step in front of the camera and take his rightful place at the head of the judges’ panel,” NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt said.

Season 10, the past cycle of “AGT,” averaged 12.5 million viewers overall with its Tuesday airing — the show’s most-watched season in four years.

Cowell is an executive producer along with Sam Donnelly, Jason Raff, Trish Kinane and Richard Wallac. “AGT” is produced by FremantleMedia North America and Syco Entertainment, Cowell’s venture with Sony Music.

Auditions for the new season of “AGT” are currently underway; Detroit will be the next city to host auditions on Nov. 7. “AGT” returns to NBC in the summer of 2016.

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