After Nick Cannon exited from “America’s Got Talent” after hosting it for eight of its 11 seasons, there was talk about just how how tough it would to be replace him as emcee. While Regis Philbin had kicked off the show in 2006 followed by Jerry Springer for two seasons, it was Cannon who turned this summer staple into must-see TV.
Last month, Cannon ignited a firestorm with his criticism of the Peacock net in his filmed Showtime special “Stand Up, Don’t Shoot.” He ankled the show, with the departing shot that network execs had often tried to dictate what he could (and couldn’t say).
Now comes word that Tyra Banks is to preside over this year’s edition, which will soon begin taping the audition episodes. Banks reigned supreme over 22 free-wheeling seasons of “America’s Next Top Model.” She was recently seen on the poorly rated reboot of the “Celebrity Apprentice,” as a board member advisor to Arnold Schwarzenegger. Prior to that she hosted her own self-titled talker for six seasons, winning Emmys in 2008 and 2009 and was also part of the first half of the single season of “Fablife.”
While Banks had to deal with tempers and tantrums on “ANTM” from time to time, one wonders if she can balance all the competing egos at play on “AGT.” A big part of Cannon’s appeal was his ability to make nice with the contestants, putting them at ease, while being naughty with the judges. The current line-up of judges — Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and Mel B — is set to return.