11:36am PT by Lesley Goldberg
NBC Doubles Down on 'America's Got Talent' With New Winter Edition
NBC's biggest summer hit — America's Got Talent — is going to be pulling double duty.
A day before announcing its 2018-19 schedule, the network announced a second edition of the reality competition series with America's Got Talent: The Champions set to air as part of its winter slate. Executive producer Simon Cowell will return to sit atop the judges' panel for The Champions. Additional judges will be announced later.
"America’s Got Talent dominates the summer by bringing together the world’s best Got Talent acts for all ages with unique talents to the forefront,” Paul Telegdy, president of alternative and reality at NBC Entertainment, said Saturday in a statement. "Bringing the best Got Talent competitors together for this winter edition will have these favorites elevating their acts to awe and inspire audiences like never before.”
Heading into its 13th season — which is set to bow May 29 — AGT has been NBC's most successful summer series and has anchored a roster of unscripted series during the typically little-watched season. Last summer, the program averaged an impressive 3.5 rating among advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 and 16 million viewers when factoring in seven days of delayed viewing, making it last summer's most-watched entertainment series — an impressive showing for a show in its 12th season. AGT also helped launch Jennifer Lopez's World of Dance, with the latter competition series becoming the network's second-most-watched in the summer — behind only AGT.
"I have always wanted to have a competition show for the very best of the best Got Talent acts from around the world,” said Cowell. “The variety and the talents of the acts who enter Got Talent globally are incredible and unbelievable. Since America’s Got Talent was where it all started, I’m absolutely delighted to be launching this on NBC."
The new edition will feature acts from previous seasons as well as from some of the other global versions of the hit series, which airs in 184 countries around the world.
AGT was created and is co-owned by Cowell's Syco Entertainment and FremantleMedia.
With the pickup, AGT: Champions gives NBC another unscripted series to air during the season, where it will join veteran The Voice. Should ABC again slot American Idol for midseason, the two shows could be on the schedule at the same time (and perhaps go head-to-head).