Simon Cowell will be sitting at the “America’s Got Talent” judges’ table for the next three seasons. The TV personality and “AGT” creator has signed a new deal to remain on the talent competition show through 2019, Variety has learned.
Cowell’s news comes after “America’s Got Talent” wrapped its 11th season this summer with the show’s highest ratings in five years.
For the 12th season in summer 2017, Cowell will be joined by judges Mel B, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel, plus host Nick Cannon, who are all returning for the next season.
“‘America’s Got Talent’ is a fantastic and, most importantly, fun show both to work on and to watch. NBC have been brilliant partners and the entire team who make this show are one of the best in the world. I’ve loved this past season and look forward to discovering more great talent together in the years to come,” said Cowell.
“It was terrific to see Simon in his judge’s chair this past season, bringing his unique expertise and enthusiasm to the show, night after night,” commented Paul Telegdy, NBC Entertainment’s president of alternative and reality group. “His brilliance has made ‘AGT’ the industry leader that it is today and his ability to evaluate and spot talent is unmatched, so we couldn’t be happier to have him seated at the judge’s table for the next three years.”
Trish Kinane, “AGT” executive producer and FremantleMedia North America’s president of entertainment programming, added: “Simon really understands how to spot talent, but he also knows how to have fun. We are delighted that he will be with us for the next three seasons, helping find the very best talent America has to offer.”
Cowell, founder of his Syco Entertainment, is creator of the global “Got Talent” format, which airs in 186 countries and has spawned the most international spinoffs of any reality show in history, most notably the U.S. version with “America’s Got Talent” and the U.K. series, “Britain’s Got Talent,” on which he is a judge. Cowell also created the global “X Factor” format and is a judge on that show across the pond.
Musical acts to come out of Cowell’s series include One Direction, Fifth Harmony and the most recent winner of “AGT,” 12-year-old singer and ukulele player Grace Vanderwall.
“AGT” marked Cowell’s return to U.S. television, after he was famously a judge on Fox’s “American Idol,” as part of the original judges’ trio.
When he signed onto “America’s Got Talent” for Season 11, he told Variety that he’s always loved “AGT,” but the timing for him to come on as a judge hadn’t been right until this past summer. “This is a very successful show, so rather than launching something new, this felt like an easier, more obvious thing to do,” he said. “I want to bring better music acts back to the show because I thought that was the only thing that was slightly missing.”
Cowell is repped by WME and Ziffren Brittenham. Ari Emanuel of WME brokered the deal.