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America's Got Talent facts for kids

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America's Got Talent
America's Got Talent 2015 logo
Genre Reality
Talent contest
Created by
Directed by Russell Norman
Creative director(s) Brian Friedman
Presented by
Judges
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 14
No. of episodes 349
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Simon Cowell
  • Sam Donnelly
  • Jason Raff
  • Rob Wade
  • Trish Kinane
  • Richard Wallace
Running time 60–120 minutes
Production company(s) Fremantle USA
Syco Entertainment
Distributor Fremantle
Release
Original network NBC
Picture format
Original release June 21, 2006 (2006-06-21) – present
Chronology
Related shows America's Got Talent: The Champions

America's Got Talent (often abbreviated as AGT) is a televised American talent show competition, and is part of the global Got Talent franchise created by Simon Cowell. The program premiered on June 21, 2006. Each season is mainly run during the network's summer schedule, and has featured various hosts over the course of the program's history.

The program attracts a variety of participants, from across the United States and abroad, to take part and who possess some form of talent, with acts ranging from singing, dancing, comedy, magic, stunts, variety, and other genres.

Each participant who auditions attempts to secure a place in the live episodes of a season by impressing a panel of judges - the current line-up consists of Cowell, Howie Mandel, Julianne Hough, and Gabrielle Union. Those that make it into the live episodes compete against each other for both the judges' and public's vote in order to reach the live final, where the winner receives a large cash prize, and since the third season, a chance to headline a show on the Las Vegas Strip.

Since its premiere, America's Got Talent has helped to show new talent and kickstart/boost the careers of various performers who took part in the competition, the show itself has been a rating success with an average of around 10 million viewers per season.

The program has run for a total of thirteen seasons, and spawned a spin-off competition entitled America's Got Talent: The Champions, consisting of notable contestants from the U.S. and other international versions of the franchise, which premiered on NBC on January 7, 2019.

Overview

Simon Cowell in December 2011
Simon Cowell, creator of America's Got Talent and the Got Talent franchise, is primarily a judge on the British international version of the franchise. He has operated as a judge on AGT since May 2016

The general selection process of each season is begun by the production team with open auditions held in various cities across the United States. They are held months before the main stage of auditions are held. Those that make it through the initial stage, become participants in the "Judges' Auditions", which are held in select cities across the country, and attended by the judges.

Each participant awaits their turn to perform before the judges, they are given 90 seconds to demonstrate their act, with a live audience present for all performances. At the end of a performance, the judges give constructive criticism and feedback about what they saw, then they each give a vote - a participant who receives a majority vote approving their performance, moves on to the next stage, otherwise they are eliminated from the program at that stage.

Each judge is given a buzzer, and may use it during a performance if they are unimpressed, hate what is being performed, or feel the act is a waste of their time; if a participant is buzzed by all judges, their performance is automatically over. Many acts that move on may be cut by producers and may forfeit due to the limited slots available for the second performance.

From the fifth to seventh seasons, acts who did not attend live auditions could instead submit a taped audition online via YouTube. Acts from the online auditions were then selected to compete in front of the judges and a live audience during the "live shows" part of the season, prior to the semi-finals.

In the ninth season, the show added a new format to the auditions in the form of the "Golden Buzzer". During auditions, each judge is allowed to use the Golden Buzzer to send an act automatically into the live shows, regardless of the opinion of the other judges; when it was initially used, the buzzer simply saved an act from elimination. The only rule to the buzzer was that a judge could use it only once per season.

Reception

Terry Crews by Gage Skidmore 5
Terry Crews became the host in 2019

Since the show began, its ratings have been very high, ranging from 9 million viewers to as many as 16 million viewers, generally averaging around 12 million viewers.

The show has also ranked high in the 18–49 demographic. Audition shows and performance shows rate higher on average than results shows.

The highest rated season in overall viewers to date is season four (2009). The most-watched episode has been the finale of season five (2010), with 16.41 million viewers.

The series premiere and an episode featuring the first part of Las Vegas Week in season six (2011) have each tied for highest rating among adults 18–49, both having a 4.6 rating.

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