Jerry Springer out as 'Talent' host

Returning focus to talk show, summer theater

Jerry Springer is leaving his position as host of NBC's summer hit "America's Got Talent."

The TV personality said he's departing the show to focus on a summer theater production and his syndicated talk show.

"I've had a wonderful time serving as host on 'America's Got Talent,' " Springer said in a statement. "These last two seasons, working with everyone associated with the show and all the extraordinary and talented performers across America, has been an incredibly rewarding experience for me. This summer, I will be pursuing a wonderful opportunity in the theatre.

That, coupled with my syndicated talk how leaves my plate more than full and thus, I will not be returning for season four."

NBC's alternative programming head Paul Telegdy responded in a statement: "Jerry has been an important part of the 'America's Got Talent' family for the past two seasons. We thank him for his hard work and dedication to the show and congratulate him on this new endeavor."

"Got Talent" is the summer's most-watched show. The departure risks shaking up a formula that has worked well for NBC at a time when the network is trying to stem ratings erosion. The network did not comment on its plans for a successor.