America's Got Talent returns to filming and moves outdoors

Dan Seddon
Photo credit: Trae Patton - NBC Universal

From Digital Spy

NBC reality show America's Got Talent has restarted filming after the coronavirus pandemic saw everything put on hold.

The first six audition shows were shot prior to the outbreak, so the challenge for the creative team was to find a way of bringing safety measures into the Judge Cuts and live instalments.

And with one significant change, it seems they've been successful – switching from an indoor arena to a huge outdoor movie stage.

Photo credit: Trae Patton - NBC Universal

Related: Former America's Got Talent judge Gabrielle Union calls the show a "toxic work environment"

In the style of a drive-in movie theatre, judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and Modern Family star Sofia Vergara can arrive in separate vehicles and sit alongside each other while socially distanced.

In addition to this, the network has decided to reduce the number of Judge Cuts episodes from four to one and cut down the number of performers from 72 to 60.

Photo credit: Rex

Related: Simon Cowell is "thrilled" to be starring in new Scooby-Doo movie Scoob!

Speaking to Deadline recently, Cowell revealed there was a "real buzz of excitement" surrounding the show's resumption.

"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.

Executive producers Sam Donnelly and Jason Raff added: "It was something that encompasses the Southern California lifestyle and scenery that we all know and love, and in some ways are missing right now.

"Wait until you see the vehicles the judges arrive in. We simply had to have some fun with this."

The information in this story is accurate as of the publication date. While we are attempting to keep our content as up-to-date as possible, the situation surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to develop rapidly, so it's possible that some information and recommendations may have changed since publishing. For any concerns and latest advice, visit the World Health Organisation. If you're in the UK, the National Health Service can also provide useful information and support, while US users can contact the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

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