Howie Mandel replacing Hasselhoff as 'America's Got Talent' judge
By Christopher Rocchio, 01/11/2010
NBC has announced Howie Mandel will replace David Hasselhoff on America's Got Talent's judging panel for the reality competition series' fifth season this summer.
The Deal or No Deal and Howie Do It star will join returning judges Sharon Osborne and Piers Morgan, with Nick Cannon reprising his hosting duties.
"Howie is one of America's favorite entertainers and his sense of humor and energy are irrepressible," said NBC programming executive Paul Telegdy.
"He's passionate about new talent and his years of experience across a variety of disciplines in entertainment, not to mention the fact that he headlines and performs in Vegas all the time, will bring new depth to our panel. He will be a real asset to our contestants and help them take their talents to the next level. We are thrilled to have him join Sharon and Piers and are sure that sparks will fly!"
According to Hasselhoff, he is leaving America's Got Talent to follow his "dream" of doing his own TV show, which he added "will be announced very shortly." While the 57-year-old failed to elaborate on the new project, he was reportedly close to finalizing a deal with A&E for a new reality series in October.
"We're thrilled to have Howie join the show," said executive producer Cecile Frot-Coutaz.
"He's an extraordinary, multi-faceted talent whose success story spans the gauntlet of all things entertainment. He will no doubt bring a dynamic, poignant and entertaining perspective to the judging panel that is all his own."
America's Got Talent fifth-season open casting calls will begin on January 23 and 24 in Los Angeles and continue over the next several weeks with stops in Dallas (January 30 and 31), Orlando (February 13 and 14), Atlanta (February 20-21) and Portland (February 28-March 1). Additional information is available via NBC's website.
In addition to serving as an America's Got Talent judge, NBC announced it has also inked a first-look production deal with Mandel.