Pulling Double Duty: the Celebs Who Produce and Star in Our Favorite Shows
Simon Cowell may be the original renaissance man when it comes to running things behind the cameras as well as in front of them. Cowell has worked on shows like American Idol, X Factor, and the Got Talent franchise around the world both on and off-screen. These days, stars like Nick Cannon, Carson Daly, Kelly Clarkson, and Tyra Banks are all following in his major footsteps as both hosts and producers on their respective competition shows.
Many Hosts on Our Favorite Shows Are Also Producers
This is an age old tale of how Hollywood operates, even if it is just for show and not necessarily any groundbreaking work involved. For us viewers, is there a real impact in having a host or judge also produce the shows we enjoy?
It would be tough to know exactly if any of these stars are making big decisions behind the scenes of our favorite talent shows. Former TRL host Carson Daly hosting a singing competition makes sense for his career trajectory. He’s been on the forefront of a new era of music as a VJ on TRL in the late 90s into the early 2000s.
The Voice being a show that focuses on music benefits from having someone with a career longevity in music such as Daly. He has been a gatekeeper of public opinion on all things music for over two decades. Viewers may not have known that Daly served as a producer on the NBC singing show, but for every Daly there are other stars whose presence behind the camera shows in front of the camera.
As a producer for America’s Got Talent, Cowell was able to give the show in itself a lot of security. When Covid-19 protocols led to format changes in the show, Cowell used his privilege to help the show pivot and continue on. With Covid-19 halting many productions, Cowell was able to host the “judge cuts” during Season 16 of America’s Got Talent at his own home.
For Better or for Worse
On the other hand, fans were outraged when it was announced that former Supermodel Tyra Banks was joining Dancing With The Stars. As the new solo host and executive producer, Banks coming on board meant that Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews were out.
Despite the fact that fans have yet to embrace Banks as host, the fact that she’s a produce means she’s not likely to go anywhere. Viewers have noticed that Banks made the show all about her. From her weekly catwalk entrances, to pointing out mistakes on air, viewers have yet to come around to the idea of Banks continuing to host.
Serving as producer also means great job security when scandal hits. When it comes to Nick Cannon, playing a huge part on The Masked Singer helped him keep his job after he made anti-semitic comments in the Summer of 2020. Many people believed that Cannon’s career would suffer because of the comments made on his podcast. Although Viacom dropped his show Wild N Out, The Masked Singer kept Cannon on the show, likely because of his producing role. His comments did not hurt the rating, and ultimately Cannon did apologize.
The impact of having a host or judge also produce talent competition shows could be both a positive and negative thing. When they come with expertise in a particular competition their input can help create great shows. When they come in and fans feel as though they are taking over their beloved show, the outcome could be constantly being bombarded with reviews that point out all the ways the show has changed for the worse. In the end, it is all about balance.