‘America’s Got Talent’ upheaval: Reality titan Simon Cowell replaces Howard Stern

americas got talent simon cowell howard stern season 11 13579086

In news that should make Donald Trump furious, the four judges on Season 11 of “America’s Got Talent” are now all non-Americans. NBC announced this week that the show’s sole American judge Howard Stern will be replaced by British TV mogul Simon Cowell. This reality TV titan (and “AGT” producer) will join fellow Brit Mel B on the panel along with Canadian Howie Mandel and German Heidi Klum.

Who will win ‘Survivor: Second Chance’? See exclusive predictions

Cowell was integral to the success of America’s reality television boom back in 2002 when his acerbic nature brought in droves of fans for the first season of Fox’s “American Idol.” After starring on the show for nine seasons, Cowell left but later returned to the network as a judge/mentor on all three seasons of its now-cancelled “The X Factor” (2011-2013).

The “Got Talent” franchise began with “America’s Got Talent” on NBC in 2006 and Cowell has been a producer from the outset. That show has been spun off in various countries and is one of the most successful reality franchises in the world. Will Cowell increase “AGT’s” already-stellar summer ratings for the peacock net?

Our forum posters, many of whom are Hollywood insiders, have been weighing in on NBC’s decision to replace Stern with Cowell. Read some of their comments below and then join the fierce debate in our forums here.

That Don Guy: Smart move.  Somebody has to be the “voice of reason”; otherwise it turns into the last few seasons of American Idol.

Ryan Lapierre: It’s beautiful smart move from NBC.

Tyler The Awesome Guy: “AGT” really needed a Cowell-esque judge. Someone who is brutally honest above all. I hate shows that have all the judges as “yes” men because that accomplishes nothing. There needs to be at least one realist judge that brings stuff back down to earth. Also, Simon’s return to American television will probably spike up the ratings for “AGT.”

When “America’s Got Talent” starts back up again, we will open our predictions center and allow you to predict who will win. In the meantime, you can have fun making your “Survivor” predictions. Just log into your Gold Derby account (or you can register for a free account via Facebook, Twitter or Google) and then start casting your votes.

Remember that coming out on top doesn’t just mean answering that week’s questions correctly. You also have to use your three big bets (500 points and two of 200 points) strategically to score the most game points. If you bet on a longshot who pulls off an upset, you can really rack up the points, so don’t take them for granted.

Get started by making your prediction as to which castaway will be voted off the island next by using our easy drag-and-drop menu below. And be sure to sound off on the current season of “Survivor” in Gold Derby’s reality TV forum.

Photo Credits: REX/Shutterstock/Jim Smeal/BEI

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