Sofia Vergara has signed on as a judge for the upcoming 15th season of “America’s Got Talent” at NBC, Variety has learned. In addition, Heidi Klum is returning to the show for the first time since 2018.
They join the current judging panel that consists of Simon Cowell and Howie Mandel, with Terry Crews serving as the show’s host. News of the additions to the judging panel comes amid an ongoing investigation into the events leading up to the exit of judges Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough last season, over what numerous insiders described as a toxic culture on the show in an exclusive Variety report.
Union is said to have raised multiple concerns over insensitivity to women and people of color during her time on the series. She later revealed that, following her exit, she and NBC sat down for what she called a “a lengthy 5-hour…productive meeting” during which she expressed her “unfiltered truth.” NBC went on to announce that it had opened a formal investigation into the matter. SAG-AFTRA is also conducting an investigation. The results of the NBC probe are expected sometime in March.
Sofia Vergara over the years
Sofia Vergara over the years
HOLLYWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 4: Sofia Vergara attends Walk of Fame Star Ceremony Honoring Cristina Saralegui on November 4, 1999 at Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 6: Sofia Vergara attends 14th Annual American Comedy Awards on February 6, 2000 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Sofia Vergara (R) attends the first 'Lo Nuestro' awards hosted by Univision Spanish-language television on February 7, 2002 in Miami, FL. (Photo by Adrian Del Angel/Getty Images)
Sofia Vergara (Photo by Albert L. Ortega/WireImage)
Sofia Vergara (Photo by Jean-Paul Aussenard/WireImage)
Sofia Vergara (Photo by M. Caulfield/WireImage)
Model Sofia Vergara poses outside The Lounge club May 2, 2002 in West Hollywood, CA. (Photo by David Klein/Getty Images)
Sofia Vergara (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
Sofia Vergara (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)
Sofia Vergara (Photo by Rodrigo Varela/WireImage)
Sofia Vergara during World Premiere Of MGM's 'BulletProof Monk' at Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California, United States. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
MIAMI - SEPTEMBER 23: Sofia Vergara attends the 1st Annual Premios Juventad Awards at the James L. Knight Center September 23, 2004 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Alberto Tamargo/Getty Images)
Sofia Vergara and Juanes at the James L. Knight Center in Miami, Florida (Photo by Rodrigo Varela/WireImage)
Sofia Vergara (Photo by Steve Granitz Archive 1/WireImage)
Sofia Vergara during 2005 Venice Film Festival - 'Four Brothers' Photocall at Casino Palace in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Goffredo di Crollalanza/FilmMagic)
MIAMI - DECEMBER 28: Actress Sofia Vergara shops on Lincoln Road on December 28, 2005 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images)
Sofia Vergara during 2006 NCLR ALMA Awards - Arrivals at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
COZUMEL, MEXICO - JULY 09: Sofia Vergara (R) and her son Manolo Gonzalez bring her birthday celebration to Cozumel, Mexico on July 9, 2012 in Cozumel, Mexico. (Photo by Jesse Grant/WireImage)
PLAYA DEL CARMEN, MEXICO - JULY 10: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE)(NO TABLOIDS) Sofia Vergara and her son Manolo Gonzalez celebrate her 40th birthday at the Rosewood Mayacoba on July 10, 2012 in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. (Photo by Jesse Grant/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 12: Actress Sofia Vergara (R) and Nick Loeb attend HBO's Official Golden Globe Awards After Party at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 12, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 12: Actress Sofia Vergara and son Manolo Gonzalez-Ripoll Vergara arrive at the 2014 InStyle And Warner Bros. 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards post-party at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 12, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 12: (L-R) Actor Joe Manganiello, actress Sofia Vergara and TV host Alex Trebek attend the celebratory dinner after the special tribute to Sophia Loren during the AFI FEST 2014 presented by Audi at Dolby Theatre on November 12, 2014 in Hollywood, California. on November 12, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for AFI)
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 31: Sofia Vergara and Joe Mangeniello attend New Years Eve dinner at Strip House at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on December 31, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage)
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 31: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Heather Milligan, Joe Mangeniello and Sofia Vergara attend New Years Eve dinner at Strip House at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino on December 31, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage)
MIAMI, FL - FEBRUARY 26: Sofia Vergara is on the set of Despierta America at Univision Studios on February 26, 2015 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 25: Actors Joe Manganiello (L) and Sofia Vergara attend the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 25, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 25: Actress Sofia Vergara arrives at FOX, 20th Century FOX Television, FX Networks And National Geographic Channel's 2014 Emmy Award Nominee Celebration at Vibiana on August 25, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 25: Actress Sofia Vergara attends the 66th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on August 25, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 03: Actress Sofia Vergara attends the 100th Annual White House Correspondents' Association Dinner at the Washington Hilton on May 3, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
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Union supporters and social media users specifically latched on to criticism of unions hair, in the form of notes that her rotating hairstyles were “too black” for a wide audience. In Variety’s original report, sources close to show producers said the notes were for the sake of continuity.
Vergara is preparing to sign off of the Emmy-winning ABC comedy series “Modern Family,” which is currently airing its eleventh and final season. Vergara has received four Emmy and four Golden Globe nominations for her work on the show. The Colombian actress and model is also known for starring in films such as “Chef,” “Meet the Browns,” “Happy Feet Two,” and “Hot Pursuit.” She will now be the first Latina judge in “AGT” history.
“I’m so happy to join my new family on ‘AGT,’” Vergara said. “This is a new and exciting next chapter for me and I’m extremely proud to be the first Latin judge on the show. I can’t wait to watch all the talent and have fun with all you guys!”
Klum was a judge on “AGT” from 2013-2018 before exiting. She then went on to serve as a judge on “America’s Got Talent: Champions” beginning last year. The supermodel is also currently prepping the series “Making the Cut,” a fashion competition series, for Amazon. She will serve as host and executive producer on that series alongside Tim Gunn, with the show set to bow on the streamer in late march. She was previously the host, co-creator and executive producer of “Project Runway” for 16 seasons.
“I’m so excited to be back at ‘AGT’ with Simon, Howie and Terry,” Klum said. “The fact that Sofia Vergara is joining us is the icing on an already delicious cake.”