'America's Got Talent' pacts with YouTube

Acts can submit videos to be voted on; 12 to perform on show

NBC and the producers of "America's Got Talent" are partnering with YouTube to put the show's audition process online.

Starting Monday, acts can upload their videos onto a special page on the video-sharing site to be in consideration for the summer show. From the submitted videos, producers from FremantleMedia North America will select 40 to be posted on a "Got Talent" YouTube channel for users to vote on. A total of 12 acts from YouTube submissions will perform live on the NBC show.

" 'Expect the unexpected' has always been core to the success of 'AGT'," said Paul Telegdy, executive vp alternative programming at NBC. "This audacious new twist to the audition process offers our viewers not only a priceless golden ticket to get onto the biggest stage in the country in the middle of the competition, but also the opportunity for a thrilling live show where anything can happen. No other show would dare to take on this challenge."

"Got Talent" videos have frequently become viral sensations on YouTube after airing, from last season's winner Kevin Skinner to the U.K. version's Susan Boyle. This arrangement gives NBC another portal to finding talent and helps generate buzz for the show, which returns June 1 with Howie Mandel joining the judges' table. The submission site is www.youtube.com/americasgottalent.

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