Sharon Osbourne replacing Brandy as 'America's Got Talent' judge
By Christopher Rocchio, 04/20/2007
Brandy is out and Sharon Osbourne is in, as NBC, confirming previous reports, has announced the former The Osbournes star will join returning judges David Hasselhoff and Piers Morgan on America's Got Talent's second season judging panel.
"Sharon Osbourne is show business personified and she has seen and done it all," NBC executive vice president Craig Plestis stated in the network's announcement. "She will make an excellent fit with David and Piers, who we're delighted to have back for another great season."
During its first season last summer, the Simon Cowell-produced variety-talent competition was judged by Hasselhoff, Morgan and pop singer Brandy Norwood. However last December, Norwood caused a four-car accident on a Los Angeles freeway that resulted in the death of motorist Awatef Aboudihaj, whose two sons have since filed wrongful death lawsuits against Norwood, and she could be charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter. Last month, the New York Post had reported that Cowell was "concerned about the negative impact of having the pop singer [remain] on the show."
"Brandy has enjoyed her association with [America's Got Talent.] However, she felt she couldn't give the new season the attention and commitment it deserved," Courtney Barnes, Norwood's representative, said in a separate statement released to media outlets.
Since Cowell produces and works alongside Osbourne as a judge on the Britain's American Idol-like The X-Factor reality competition series, he is already very familiar with what the former The Osbournes star would bring to his America's Got Talent series (per his Idol contract, Cowell is not allowed to appear on-screen in any non-Fox American television projects).
"On this show, it just had to be Sharon Osbourne," Cowell said in NBC's announcement.
America's Got Talent 2 will debut Tuesday, May 29 at 9PM ET with a special two-hour premiere and will air weekly in the Tuesdays 8-9PM ET/PT time period. Talk show host and former Dancing with the Stars 3 participant Jerry Springer will America's Got Talent is produced by FremantleMedia North America and Cowell's SYCO TV. Cowell, Ken Warwick, Cecile Frot-Coutaz, Jason Raff and James Sunderland are the executive producers. ">replace fellow talk show host Regis Philbin as host of America's Got Talent.
"We're very excited about our new ensemble of judges and host this season," said America's Got Talentexecutive producer Cecile Frot-Coutaz. "I'm certain this extraordinary and dynamic group will prove most entertaining to our growing audience."
America's Got Talent is produced by FremantleMedia North America and Cowell's SYCO TV. Cowell, Frot-Coutaz, Ken Warwick, Jason Raff and James Sunderland are the show's executive producers.