“Australia’s Got Talent,” with celebrity judges including Neil Patrick Harris and British singer Alesha Dixon, was halted after Sydney initiated a two-week lockdown in response to a new surge of coronavirus cases.
The Seven network and production company Fremantle Media made the decision as the lockdown meant the show would have no live studio audience.
“Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions in Sydney, we have decided to postpone production of the new season of ‘AGT’ to a date to be determined. A studio audience is a vitally important part of this much-loved show, so we have made the responsible but tough call to not go ahead for now,” Seven said in a statement.
International hosts Harris and Dixon had recently finished their two weeks mandatory hotel quarantine in order to take part in the show alongside fellow Australian judges radio host Kate Ritchie and actor-comedian Shane Jacobson. They will now return to their home countries as the 2021 season of AGT is indefinitely postponed.
“They will go home. They want to return when a new production date is set. We want them to return. But it will depend on their schedules,” said a Seven spokesperson.
The network was planning a splashy relaunch of the tenth season of the talent show which was also canceled last year due to Covid-19 restrictions. It will fill the gap with new seasons of “Farmer Wants a Wife,” “SAS Australia,” “Big Brother VIP,” and “The Voice,” featuring judges Keith Urban and Rita Ora, which was filmed earlier this year.
The city’s stay-at-home orders have firmly shuttered all cinemas, theaters, restaurants and amusement parks. But so far at least most film and TV production had not been halted.