If you’ve been watching AGT this season, you might be wondering how the show will handle future episodes in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. No, the show will not stop — it will just look a little different.
USA Today has broken down what the future of the season will look like. Read on to find out what to expect moving forward, including when the live shows are scheduled to begin.
What Will ‘AGT’ Season 15 Look Like Going Forward?
Audition episodes have been pretty normal so far this season, aside from Heidi Klum’s absence due to illness. However, this week’s episode (and later episodes in the studio) filmed without an audience.
This no-audience format will continue until the last audition episode on July 14, which will also feature some online auditions viewed by the judges from their homes.
Sofia Vergara said she missed the audience’s “energy,” adding, “I know some of the acts were nervous about not performing in front of an audience, but I think they all did really well given the circumstances.”
After the auditions, Judge Cuts will be just one episode featuring 60 acts, with the judges sending some through without watching them perform again. Other acts will perform remotely, with the judges driving onto the set in separate cars and watching a large screen. It’s set to air July 28.
As for the live shows, those are scheduled to start August 11, with four episodes instead of three in the quarterfinals. Producers are reportedly looking at various options, including the traditional Dolby Theatre (albeit with just the judges there in person). They’re also considering a virtual audience.
Simon Cowell Says The Show Must Go On
NBC’s executive vice president of alternative programming, Jenny Groom, told USA Today that they never considered canceling the season.
“We wanted to figure out how can we do this in a safe manner and for fans to feel like they still get the show they love,” she explained. “We also talked a lot about how this is this show we feel America needs right now. They need to feel like they can escape.”
As for Simon Cowell, he told the outlet that the show must go on. “As bad as it is, you always have to find a solution to get back to work,” he said. “I have sympathy for so many people in this situation, but if our show is an example, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s different, but hopefully it will still be as popular.”
We’ve seen fellow talent shows American Idol and The Voice finish their seasons during the pandemic. We’re sure AGT will be just fine.