NBC’s America’s Got Talent season 15 began filming before the outbreak of the global coronavirus pandemic, and they had to pause filming during auditions for the safety of the cast, crew and audience. Now, the show’s schedule has become more clear and live episodes will be going forward.
The episode that airs tonight, June 30, 2020, will be the first to be filmed after social distancing regulations began to be put in place. There will be no live audience. The episode was filmed in the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, and the acts performed only in front of the judges and host Terry Crews.
The episode was taped in March and was one of the last to film before they shut down for a few months. Now, the show is back to filming, with the cast and crew filming the Judge Cuts episode outdoors in LA.
Judge Cuts Will Air on July 28
The episode that filmed this week will be Judge Cuts, and it will air on July 28 at 8 p.m. The episode will show the judges making decisions to decide which 44 acts go on to live shows.
“As bad as it is, you always have to find a solution to get back to work,” Cowell told USA Today via email. “I have sympathy for so many people in this situation, but if our show is an example, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s different, but hopefully, it will still be as popular.”
According to Jenny Groom, NBC’s executive vice president of alternative programming, they were never considering the idea of scrapping the entire season.
“We wanted to figure out how can we do this in a safe manner and for fans to feel like they still get the show they love. We also talked a lot about how this is this show we feel America needs right now. They need to feel like they can escape,” she told USA Today.
Live Shows Start on August 11
Live shows for the season will begin airing on August 11, no matter what form they end up taking at that point.
The crew will navigate the CDC guidelines regarding social distancing when they do return for live shows, and there will be 44 acts performing over four weeks of live quarterfinals.
Some of the acts that auditioned for the show did so from home, as they were eager to get there before COVID-19 restrictions increased. In the final audition episode, which will air on July 14, there is a section of auditions filmed remotely.
Here’s what we know about the ‘AGT’ Season 15 schedule so far:
- June 30: Auditions
- July 7: Auditions
- July 14: Auditions, final episode
- July 21: Road to live shows, audition highlights
- July 28: Judge Cuts
- August 4: AGT 15th Anniversary Special
- August 11: Live Shows Begin, Quarterfinals
- August 18: Quarterfinals
- August 25: Quarterfinals
- September 1: Quarterfinals
For these live shows, producers are hoping to have most of the acts perform in front of the judges in a venue large enough to accommodate social distancing. That venue may still be Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre, and they may be trying to get a virtual audience at the shows.
Of course, plans may still change for ‘AGT’ moving forward if regulations change or if there is a spike in infections.