Jerry Springer replacing Regis Philbin as 'America's Got Talent' host
By Christopher Rocchio, 03/06/2007
NBC has announced that talk show host and reality television veteran Jerry Springer will host America's Got Talent, the variety-talent competition that showcases performers from across the country and let's America choose the winner, when the reality competition series returns for a second season this summer.
"Jerry Springer is the perfect ringmaster to harness all the incredibly diverse talent of America's Got Talent under one big tent," said Craig Plestis, senior vice president of reality programming for NBC Entertainment. "To say the least, he is known for presiding over an unpredictable show where the unexpected is the typical order of each day."
Springer's syndicated talk show The Jerry Springer Show is currently its sixteenth season. Last fall, he appeared as a celebrity two-stepper on the third season of ABC's Dancing with the Stars, and after surviving six episodes of the reality competition series, he was eliminated with partner Kym Johnson. The Springer Hustle -- a new eight-episode reality series that will give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at how his salacious talk show is created -- also premiered on VH1 earlier this week.
"I've been around some of America's most talented individuals on my talk show for the last 16 years, so I'll feel right at home hosting America's Got Talent," said Springer, presumably being sarcastic about the "talented individuals" that appear on his talk show. "I love the show and look forward to discovering the best performers from across the country."
Springer will replace fellow talk show host Regis Philbin, who hosted the series' first season last summer. According to The Associated Press, the 75-year-old New York-based Philbin decided not to return for America's Got Talent's second season due to the "heavy travel schedule" the show's Los Angeles tapings required.
America's Got Talent averaged a 3.5/10 rating/share in the Adults 18-49 demographic and 11 million total viewers during its first season last summer. The show is produced by FremantleMedia North America and American Idol judge Simon Cowell's SYCO TV. Cowell, Ken Warwick, Cecile Frot-Coutaz, Jason Raff and James Sunderland are the executive producers.
"I am absolutely thrilled that Jerry has agreed to host the next season of our show for a number of reasons, he is the perfect person for this show," said Cowell. "I wish him (and he is going to need it!) the best of luck."