NBC’s America’s Got Talent has filled its two vacant judge chairs. Modern Family star Sofia Vergara is joining the hit summer reality series as a new judge for its upcoming 15th season. Additionally, Heidi Klum, who was a judge on AGT for six seasons, from 2013-2018, is coming back. They are being joined by returning judges Simon Cowell, who is AGT’s creator and executive producer, and Howie Mandel, as well as host Terry Crews.
“I’m so happy to join my new family on AGT,” said Vergara, who will be making AGT history. “This is a new and exciting next chapter for me and I’m extremely proud to be the first Latin judge on the show. I can’t wait to watch all the talent and have fun with all you guys!”
Vergara and Klum succeed Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough who were let go in November after one season on AGT. Union’s ouster sparked controversy and triggered an investigation over allegations of hostile work environment on the reality show. The investigation was supposed to wrap by end of January but its results are yet to be made public.
Shortly after Union and Hough’s exit, Vergara emerged as NBC’s top choice for a replacement. She met with executives from NBC and AGT producer Fremantle in mid-December to discuss the possibility. By mid-January, word started getting out there that Klum would be back, retaking her seat.
Klum never left the AGT franchise — she has been a judge on spinoff America’s Got Talent: The Champions since its launch last season.
“I’m so excited to be back at AGT with Simon, Howie and Terry. The fact that Sofia Vergara is joining us is the icing on an already delicious cake,” Klum said.
Vergara is coming off an 11-season run as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett on ABC’s hit comedy Modern Family, a role that has earned her four Emmy nominations.
“Sofia’s infectious energy and sharp wit will blend perfectly with returning favorites Heidi, Simon, Howie, and Terry. As both a respected actress and successful entrepreneur, she embodies the American dream that is synonymous with AGT’s transformative stage,” said Meredith Ahr, President, Alternative & Reality Group, NBC Entertainment.
Last summer, America’s Got Talent averaged a 2.1 rating in adults 18-49 and 11.9 million viewers overall in Live+7 Nielsens. The 14th cycle of AGT once again easily ranked as the summer’s #1 most-watched entertainment series, towering by 4.4 million viewers over the next most-watched entertainment program.
AGT is also a digital/social phenomenon, amassing 3.2 billion views across all digital video platforms in 2019. AGT was the #1 most-social broadcast series of 2019 (42.8 million total interactions to date in linear metrics, Source: Nielsen Social SCR).