Simon Cowell Extends Term as 'America's Got Talent' Judge

Simon Cowell - Getty - H 2017
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America's Got Talent creator and executive producer Simon Cowell has locked in a new deal to remain on camera with the show.

The new agreement will extend Cowell's time as a judge on the series, which began with its 11th season in 2016. The series is currently in season 13, and while NBC has yet to renew it beyond that, Cowell's deal and AGT's reign as the top-rated summer show on network TV likely make that just a formality. Cowell will also continue as an executive producer under the new deal.

"Simon Cowell is an extraordinary showman whose success stories over the years on multiple continents speak for themselves," Paul Telegdy, president of NBC Entertainment's Alternative and Reality Group, said Wednesday in a statement. "We are thrilled that he will continue as a judge on America’s Got Talent and that his stewardship of the franchise will go forward for many years to come."

Added Trish Kinane, president, entertainment programming for AGT producer FremantleMedia North America: "[Cowell] knows what it takes to find and nurture talent, and he knows how to entertain an audience, creating enduring and much-loved formats. We look forward to continuing our creative partnership."

AGT has declined a bit in the ratings this season: Its seven-day averages of a 3.0 rating among adults 18-49 and 14.6 million viewers are off 12 percent and 7 percent from 2017 (3.4 and 15.7 million). The 2017 season was the show's highest-rated in adults 18-49 since 2013 and its most-watched ever, so the slight regression isn't too surprising. 

AGT is also far and away the most-watched summer series and has a sizable edge over its closest competitor in the 18-49 demo, CBS' Big Brother.

NBC will expand the franchise in early 2019 with America's Got Talent: The Champions, which will run between cycles of The Voice.

"I want to thank NBC for their continued passion and belief for America’s Got Talent over the past few years," said Cowell. "Without NBC, we wouldn’t be making Got Talent and I’m very proud to work with them. Together, with a fantastic production team, we have been able to attract the best talent in the world. I'm very excited for the next few years."