Since debuting in 2006, NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” has seen its share of judges and hosts. Notable names like David Hasselhoff, Howard Stern, Heidi Klum and Simon Cowell have all sat at the judges table, while four different hosts have acted as ringleader, including most recently Tyra Banks and Nick Cannon. Click through our “AGT” photo gallery above to view how America’s favorite reality TV show has evolved over the past dozen years.
Regis Philbin (Host) — Season 1 — Regis Philbin followed up a successful run as the host of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” by bringing his well-known daytime television personality back to primetime as host for the show’s inaugural season in 2006. Still contributing as co-host to “Live with Regis and Kelly” on weekday mornings, Philbin flew back and forth between Los Angeles and New York City to film both shows, an inconvenience that would cause him to leave “AGT” after only one season.
Brandy Norwood (Judge) — Season 1 — Following the height of her music career in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Brandy Norwood joined the series as judge as the resident musical talent expert. Though she was slated to return for the second season, Norwood stepped down as a judge after only one year when a wrongful death lawsuit was filed against her and she determined she couldn’t give the show her full attention.
David Hasselhoff (Judge) — Seasons 1-4 — Only six years after the finale of the iconic “Baywatch” series he’s best known for, David Hasselhoff joined “AGT” as one of the series’ first three judges and remained in his post through four seasons. Hasselhoff left the show in 2009 to star in short-lived reality show with his daughters called “The Hasselhoffs,” but later returned (in a way) to the series by serving as a judge across the pond on “Britain’s Got Talent” for one season.
Piers Morgan (Judge) — Seasons 1-6 — Already well-known in Britain, Piers Morgan’s rise in the ranks of American television began with his tenure as a judge on “AGT” in 2006 where he served for six seasons. In that time he also competed on and won the first season of “The Celebrity Apprentice” and served double duty as a judge on “Britain’s Got Talent.” Morgan left the series in 2011 to host “Piers Morgan Live” on CNN.
Jerry Springer (Host) — Seasons 2-3 — Following Philbin’s early departure from the series, tabloid talk show host Jerry Springer stepped in to assume hosting duties for two seasons. Springer’s tenure was also short-lived; he left the show in 2009 to pursue other commitments, making way for the series’ longest running host, Nick Cannon, in 2009.
Sharon Osbourne (Judge) — Seasons 2-7 — By the time Sharon Osbourne joined “AGT” in 2007, she had made a huge name for herself as the outspoken star of the hit reality series “The Osbournes” (2002-2005) based on her and husband Ozzy Osbourne’s family life. Before leaving “AGT” in 2012, Osbourne had not only revitalized her husband’s career, but was considered one of the richest women in Britain and began her tenure as one of five co-hosts on the daytime talk show “The Talk” for which she won an Emmy in 2017.
Howard Stern (Judge) — Seasons 7-10 — To fill the shoes of resident cranky judge Piers Morgan, “America’s Got Talent” enlisted none other than the shock jock radio host Howard Stern. Because Stern was still running his Sirius XM radio show in New York City, AGT shifted its live episode filming location from Los Angeles to New Jersey to accommodate him. Stern left the series in 2012 after four seasons.
Nick Cannon (Host) — Seasons 4-11 — Before hosting “AGT,” Nick Cannon had already established himself as an engaging and fresh hosting talent due to the success of MTV’s “Wild ‘N Out,” which he created, produced and hosted as well as enjoying a meteoric rise to fame after marrying superstar Mariah Carey the year before. Cannon left the series in 2016 over creative differences with the network.
Howie Mandel (Judge) — Seasons 5-Present — Currently the longest-serving “AGT” cast member, Howie Mandel first joined the series in Season 5 after the departure of David Hasselhoff. Mandel’s career began in television with his acting roles on popular shows “St. Elsewhere” and the animated “Bobby’s World” as well as a handful of movies. In 2005 he began hosting the game show “Deal or No Deal,” another NBC title, which led to his spot on “AGT” in 2010.
Mel B (Judge) — Seasons 8-Present — Best known as Scary Spice of the worldwide super girl group The Spice Girls, Mel B came to “AGT” as the replacement for Sharon Osbourne, the seat on the panel seemingly reserved for a musical talent expert. Prior to “AGT,” Mel B had competed on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” where she was the runner-up and has on-again, off-again stints as host of various “The X Factor” incarnations around the world.
Heidi Klum (Judge) — Seasons 8-Present — Heidi Klum joined the series in 2013 in a newly created fourth seat on the dais, giving the panel an even male-female split for the first time. Klum’s career began in the fashion world where she eventually rose to the status of supermodel, but has since become a television mainstay on both “Americas Got Talent” and for her Emmy-winning role as longtime host of Lifetime’s design competition series “Project Runway.”
Simon Cowell (Judge) — Seasons 11-Present — Already influential as a music producer in Britain, Simon Cowell became a household name in the United States as the mean-spirited, truth-telling judge and producer of “American Idol.” Due to his success there, as well as with UK and USA versions of “The X Factor,” Cowell created and produced “America’s Got Talent.” It wasn’t until he left both “Idol” and “The X Factor” franchises behind that he finally stepped into the chair for “AGT” to fill the vacancy left by Howard Stern.
Tyra Banks (Host) — Season 12 — Currently in the middle of her first season with the show, Tyra Banks came aboard “AGT” to replace longtime host Nick Cannon. Like Heidi Klum, Banks made a name for herself as a supermodel before turning her sights toward reality television where she created, hosted and produced the hit show “America’s Next Top Model.” Banks hosted “ANTM” from 2003 to 2015 when she took a break from the series, but is set to return in 2017 for the show’s “Cycle 24.”