Is Simon Cowell’s Absence On ‘America’s Got Talent’ Significantly Tanking The Ratings?

America's Got Talent Simon Cowell

Season 15 of America’s Got Talent has been quite unconventional. After having to adjust production due to the coronavirus pandemic, the unthinkable happened. Simon Cowell fell off his electric bike on August 9, leading him to be absent from the live shows as he recovers from surgery. You can find out all of the details in the video below. How has his absence from the show affected ratings?

How Are The ‘America’s Got Talent’ Ratings After Simon Cowell’s Accident?

The first live show without Simon took place on August 11. The show had 6.8 million viewers in the 18-49 demographic. People definitely tuned in to see how Kelly Clarkson would be as a guest judge filling in for Simon. The talk show host and The Voice coach did an excellent job as she had big shoes to fill. At this time, Simon was on the mend from a six-hour surgery to repair three breaks in his back and have a metal rod placed. The following week, the ratings went down slightly to 5.6 million viewers on August 18. SNL member Kenan Thompson served as the guest judge for week two of the live shows. Simon had already started walking at this point and is in good spirits. Simon’s absence from this episode certainly contributed to a decline in ratings from the previous week. The ratings for the first episode of America’s Got Talent with Simon in it was 9.88 million, which is pretty consistent but still lower than usual AGT ratings.


The ratings for this week’s live show on August 25 pretty much stayed the same at around 5.6 million viewers. There was not much of a difference from the ratings of the week prior. There was no guest judge this week on America’s Got Talent as Terry Crews announced it would just be Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and Sofia Vergara. Maybe this was to help the ratings grow by leaving people in ambiguity about whether or not Simon would return this week, causing them to tune in. However, that plan did not really work. Since the premiere of the show, the ratings have been on a steady decline each week, but that may be due in part by how different and chaotic this season is. There is a virtual audience along with social distancing precautions that prevent any acts from having background dancers and leaving some unable to perform in person. The change in the format of the show could be a reason for less viewership.

When Will Simon Return To Television?

Simon is looking forward to returning to work and has reportedly recorded segments to appear in the Britain’s Got Talent live shows. However, he will not be publicly making an appearance for the first few shows. It was just announced that Ashley Banjo who won ‘BGT’ with the group Diversity is filling in for Simon as a replacement judge. However, sources have said that Simon hopes to be back in person on America’s Got Talent by September 24. He also wants to attend the finale of Britain’s Got Talent in October.


He is such a huge part of America’s Got Talent. His honest critiques and feedback are something that people love hearing on this show. We certainly hope Simon returns to television soon and there is no doubt that when he does, ratings will definitely increase. He is already recovering from this injury so quickly and everybody knows he is a businessman at the end of the day.


Samantha Agate
Samantha Agate

Samantha Agate is a contributor and host for Talent Recap on YouTube with a previous byline at The Blast. She graduated from Hunter College in 2019 with a degree in Media Studies and a Concentration in Journalism. When she isn't binge-watching reality television shows or binge-eating fried food, she loves hanging out with her friends and family and petting puppies.

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