The past couple years have seen some turnover at the America's Got Talent
judges' table. But when the Simon Cowell-created competition series returns next summer, there will be familiar faces on the panel.
In fact, every single judge from season 8 is coming back. NBC has announced that Howard Stern, Heidi Klum, Mel B and Howie Mandel are all returning. Nick Cannon also recently revealed that he will stay on board as the host.
"Howard, Heidi, Mel and Howie have proven that they are a dynamic quartet of judges who aren't afraid to share their opinions, while at the same time creating fireworks of their own," NBC's Paul Telegdy said in a press release. "Along with Nick serving as an incomparable host, our talent on Talent is among the finest on all of television."
FremantleMedia North America Executive Producer Trish Kinane added, "The judges on America's Got Talent this past season were fun, astute and really knew how to spot talent. We are delighted to have this vibrant group of diverse, discerning personalities returning to take the show to new heights next season."
Stern said on his radio show
that taking the judging gig "started out as a goof. Now it's becoming a job. I am very excited to be going back to America's Got Talent
." He also revealed that season 9 may be last on AGT
: "I will go back [for] one more season."
"I really, really did struggle with this decision because ... I've been working a long time," he went on to say. "I really wanted to decide if this was going to take away too much ... free time. Did I really still enjoy doing it? Did I have something to say? Is it something I should be involved with still?"
Of the current panel, Howie Mandel is the longest-serving judge. Howard Stern replaced original judge Piers Morgan two years ago when the latter left to focus on his CNN show. And both Heidi Klum and Mel B have only been on for one season; they replaced Sharon Osbourne, who left in protest to NBC after she claimed the network was discriminating against her son Jack.
And interestingly enough, Heidi was hired last year "in a last minute negotiation," according to TMZ, which we reported on back
Preliminary auditions for season 9 have already begun. You can visit the AGT Auditions website
for information on which cities will be holding auditions in the next three months and how to submit a video from home.
Are you excited that all four judges are returning to AGT? Or should some of them have been replaced?
America's Got Talent season 9 will air next summer on NBC.