Simon Cowell's 'Got Talent' Sets Guinness Record for World's Most Successful TV Format

"America's Got Talent" season 9 auditions
"America's Got Talent" season 9 auditions
 Charles Sykes/NBC

LONDON -- The Got Talent franchise on Monday officially entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the globe's most successful reality TV format.

Simon Cowell's Syco Entertainment and FremantleMedia said the official record book keeper has verified the show's number one ranking.

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The format, created by Cowell, first launched as Britain's Got Talent in 2007 and has subsequently been adapted for broadcast in 58 countries, the producers said.

The latest versions to air include those in Iceland and Brazil.

Alistair Richards, president of Guinness World Records, said in a statement that Got Talent was the new record-holder, pushing another British format, Strictly Come Dancing, into second place.

The BBC dancing show is currently occupying the U.K. headlines as the search for a replacement for longtime host and British TV legend Bruce Forsyth continues. The 86-year-old shocked the local media late last week by announcing his decision to step down after 10 years fronting the show.

Got Talent has versions across Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas.

Cowell, who sits on the judging panel of the British version, said: "I am very proud that Got Talent is a homegrown British show. We owe its success to a group of very talented producers all over the world who have made this happen. And of course amazing talent."

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FremantleMedia CEO Cecile Frot-Coutaz said: "Got Talent has become a global phenomenon that has transcended cultures and excited audiences from all corners of the globe. We look forward to working with Syco Entertainment in continuing to make this brand an absolute triumph."

Richards said: "We are delighted to confirm that Got Talent has broken the previous world record and is now the official Guinness World Record holder for the most successful reality television format, a landmark moment in television record-breaking history. Congratulations!"

The format has birthed a range of successful music acts, including Susan Boyle from Britain's Got Talent, who has gone on to sell over 20 million records worldwide, and singer Jackie Evancho from America's Got Talent.

The initial audition of Paul Potts, the first winner of Britain's Got Talent, has had over 121 million views on YouTube. His story was made into a movie titled One Chance by Syco Entertainment and The Weinstein Company, starring James Corden as the opera singer.

Britain's Got Talent has had eight hit seasons, while America's Got Talent, the longest running local version of the format, is in its ninth season, with the last series attracting peak audiences of more than 11 million viewers.

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