Simon Cowell joins 'America's Got Talent' as judge

Simon Cowell Replacing Howard Stern on "AGT"
Simon Cowell Replacing Howard Stern on "AGT"

Simon Cowell will be a judge on the upcoming 11th season of NBC's hit summer series, "America's Got Talent."

The former "American Idol" judge, who created the "Got Talent" format that launched with "AGT" in 2006, joins the show as judgeHoward Stern has said he won't be returning for the next season.

"I am really thrilled to be joining 'America's Got Talent' next season," said Cowell. "What I love about this show is that it's open to absolutely anyone. America has some fantastic talent just waiting to be discovered, and I would like that talent to come to our show, including any dogs who can sing!"

PHOTOS: Simon Cowell through the years

NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt added: "Simon knows this format better than anyone and he's been producing the show with us since the beginning, so we're thrilled to have him to step in front of the camera and take his rightful place at the head of the judges' panel. We welcome him to the on-screen NBC family."

Cowell will continue his role as executive producer of "AGT." After leaving the American Idol judges table, Cowell went on to be a judge on the U.S. version of "The X Factor."

Read More: 'X Factor' Producer Talks Show's U.K. Future, Simon Cowell, Netflix

"As the creator of the 'Got Talent' format, he genuinely loves the show more than anyone and is uniquely qualified as we take 'AGT' into its next decade," said Paul Telegdy, president, alternative and late night programming, NBC Entertainment. "We can't wait to see the incredible acts the show will uncover as we head into season 11."

FremantleMedia North America entertainment president and "AGT" executive producer Trish Kinane added: "Quite simply, Simon Cowell is one of the best judges of talent in the world. He has a brilliant ability to identify acts with raw talent and develop them into superstars. We are delighted to have Simon's honest critique at the judges table for season 11 of AGT, entertaining audiences and sparking conversation as we search for America's next great talent."

The past season of "America's Got Talent" on NBC averaged 12.5 million viewers overall, its most-watched season in four years, making the show the No. 1 summer alternative series in total viewers for the tenth year in a row.

Auditions for the upcoming 11th season of AGT are currently underway, with the show auditioning hopefuls in Detroit on Nov. 7 before stopping in 12 U.S. cities including New York (Nov. 14), Phoenix (Dec. 3), Salt Lake City (Dec. 5), Las Vegas (Dec. 6) and San Jose (Dec. 8).

Read More: Howard Stern Gives Emotional Farewell to 'America's Got Talent': "It Has Been Phenomenal"

AGT is produced by FremantleMedia North America and Syco Entertainment, Cowell's joint venture with Sony Music. Cowell, Kinane, Sam Donnelly, Jason Raff and Richard Wallace are the executive producers.

More to come...

Originally published