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‘AGT’: How the show has moved forward during the pandemic

‘America’s Got Talent’ was one of the first shows to resume filming after the COVID-19 production shutdown

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Left to right: “AGT” judges Eric Stonestreet, Howie Mandel, Sofia Vergara and Simon Cowell during a recent audition episode.

Justin Lubin/NBC

America’s Got Talent” was one of the first shows to resume filming after the COVID-19 production shutdown, Deadline reported. 

The seventh — and final — episode of auditions airs Tuesday on NBC. Here’s what the show will look like going forward. 

What’s going on

  • Prior to the shutdown, “AGT” shot the first six audition episodes, including the episode featuring 15-year-old Kenadi Dodds from Utah. 
  • Dodds, who auditioned in March, told the Deseret Newsthat after auditioning for the show — which at that time wasn’t filming with a live audience — everything began shutting down.
  • Acts were then asked to submit auditions online, and the judges made their final selections virtually, according to Gold Derby.
  • After halting production in March, “AGT” resumed filming in late June. This made the show “one of the first big-budget non-scripted formats to resume filming following the COVID-19 production shutdown,” according to Deadline

Filming during a pandemic

  • “AGT” resumed filming in an outside location in Los Angeles, Deadline reported. 
  • Shooting took place on an outdoor movie stage that was created to look like a drive-in movie theater — a venue that has had a comeback during the pandemic
  • The show’s judges — Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and newcomer Sofia Vergara — arrived in separate cars and sat in socially distanced chairs to watch the contestants, Deadline reported.
  • Cowell told Deadline there was a “real buzz of excitement” being back on set. “I could see the relief on the crew’s faces that they were back at work, and then we turned around the corner to the set we’d built and it was honestly one of the most amazing experiences I can remember for a long time,” he said. 
  • Everyone on set was regularly tested, followed social distancing guidelines, handled their own microphones and used walkie talkies to communicate, according to Deadline
  • Everyone also wore masks, except when they were talking on camera. 

‘AGT’ schedule

  • The 15th season of “AGT” premiered on May 26. 
  • On July 7, the show re-aired that premiere episode. 
  • On July 14, “AGT” is airing the final episode from the audition round.
  • To help fill in the schedule, the show is airing a recap “best-of auditions” episode on July 21 and a 15th anniversary special on Aug. 4, according to Deadline
  • One “Judge Cuts” episode will air on July 28, reducing the number of acts fro 72 to 60, the Deseret News previously reported. 
  • Live shows are expected to begin Aug. 11, although NBC is still determining what those episodes will look like, including whether or not an audience will be able to participate.