'America's Got Talent' Returns to Production With Changes to Format
America's Got Talent Season 15 is back in production.
The NBC talent competition series had already filmed six audition episodes (including one without an audience), but there will be changes going forward for Judge Cuts and the live shows, Deadline reports. Filming resumed last week in the Simi Valley outside, with judges Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, and Sofia Vergara seated in accordance to social distancing.
Instead of four Judge Cuts episodes, there will be one (July 28). In fact, Cowell is hoping that change sticks going forward. "I always felt you were way up there on the audition shows and then it felt like you dropped in energy on the middle rounds — so I was always keen to change those middle shows, they never quite felt right to me," he said. "I think it is a better show this year than it has been on previous years."
In terms of safety guidelines—which Cowell called the "number one priority"—there will be regular testing, talent will handle their own microphones, and everyone wears masks when they're not speaking on camera.
As for the format for the live shows (beginning August 11), there will be four weeks (with 44 acts) instead of three (with 36). While they could be filmed at the Dolby Theater, that, as well as any type of audience involvement (in-person or virtual), is still up in the air.
Though there won't be a new AGT every week this summer, fans will still be able to get their fix, with the best of auditions on July 21 and a special in honor of its 15th anniversary on August 4.
America's Got Talent, Tuesdays, 8/7c, NBC