America’s Got Talent: Format Changes and New Judges

So, hey. Are you guys ready for a new season of America’s Got Talent? The producers and judges (Howard Stern, Howie Mandel, newbies Mel B. and Heidi Klum) sat down with reporters at the NBC summer press day yesterday to discuss changes to the format and more.

“We’re making some changes around the way we do storytelling,” EP Sam Donnelly told reporters. “They’re all subtle changes rather than actual big format ones.” She added: “Generally it’s a freshening up of how we tell stories, some backstage reality. We get to some of these guys (the judges) in more candid moments, which will be interesting. They don’t know that yet.”

“Having two new judges is a huge change for the show. Sharon had been with the show since the beginning,” EP Jason Raff said, adding another judge gave “more experience to the table.” “Two very opinionated people is definitely going to change the whole dynamic.”

Now, with 4 judges on the panel, no one judge will serve as tie breaker, it will take 3 yeses to advance a hopeful.

Ratings were down last season, and Raff blamed it on earlier 8 p.m. slot. “NBC made a big decision this year which was to move it back to its original time starting at 9 to 11,” Raff told THR. “I think in the summer at 8, the hut level is so low.”

“That’s part of the summer: People are out, it’s still light out at 8 o’clock and so generally when you’re on at 8, that’s not the best time to be on in the summer,” he said. “Nine o’clock is when people are starting to get back from their picnics and that has proven in the past to be a better time slot for us.” Raff also coming up against the Summer Olympics and election coverage as factors.

Ha ha. That’s what TVByTheNumber’s Cancel Bear would call #FanExcuseBingo. Even the addition of of Howard Stern last season couldn’t help the ratings.

We’ll see how the show does in the new time slot and with a freshened up judges panel. Putting through more entertaining contestants would help. And to be honest, the lack of singers in the latter part of the competition hurt it as much as any other factor.

America’s Got Talent premieres at 9 p.m. June 4 on NBC.

Read more at The Hollywood Reporter

About mj santilli 33316 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!