The move follows Gabrielle Union's dismissal from her position as judge on the competition series after making a comment about the show's "toxic culture."
In the wake of Gabrielle Union's exit as a judge on America's Got Talent, in which she cited a "toxic culture," Simon Cowell has reportedly beefed up his legal team.
The report of the increased legal team occurred Saturday.
The Hollywood Reporter was not immediately able to contact Cowell's legal reps for more information on this specific situation.
Union was dismissed from her position as judge after one season on the competition series when she made a comment about the show's "toxic culture." In her complaint she had reportedly asked for offensive jokes from show guest Jay Leno to be reported to the Human Resources department, but this request had not been fulfilled by those in higher positions of power.
Following her exit, SAG-AFTRA launched an investigation into her departure from the NBC competition series. Woman's advocacy group Time's Up has put their support behind the actress, in addition to a number of Hollywood actresses including Patricia Arquette and Ellen Pompeo.
During the backlash over her departure, Union met with NBC to discuss the incident. She tweeted on Wednesday, "I was able to, again, express my unfiltered truth. I led with transparency and my desire and hope for real change."
NBC’s America’s Got Talent has filled its two vacant judge chairs. Modern Family star Sofia Vergara is joining the hit summer reality series as a new judge for its upcoming 15th season. Additionally, Heidi Klum, who was a judge on AGT for six seasons, from 2013-2018, is coming back. They are being joined by returning judges Simon Cowell, who is AGT’s creator and executive producer, and Howie Mandel, as well as host Terry Crews.
“I'm so happy to join my new family on AGT,” said Vergara, who will be making AGT history. “This is a new and exciting next chapter for me and I'm extremely proud to be the first Latin judge on the show. I can't wait to watch all the talent and have fun with all you guys!”
Vergara and Klum succeed Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough who were let go in November after one season on AGT. Union’s ouster sparked controversy and triggered an investigation over allegations of hostile work environment on the reality show. The investigation was supposed to wrap by end of January but its results are yet to be made public.
Klum never left the AGT franchise - she has been a judge on spinoff America’s Got Talent: The Champions.
“I'm so excited to be back at AGT with Simon, Howie and Terry. The fact that Sofia Vergara is joining us is the icing on an already delicious cake,” Klum said.
Vergara is coming off an 11-season run as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett on ABC's hit comedy Modern Family, a role that has earned her four Emmy nominations.
“Sofia's infectious energy and sharp wit will blend perfectly with returning favorites Heidi, Simon, Howie, and Terry. As both a respected actress and successful entrepreneur, she embodies the American dream that is synonymous with AGT's transformative stage,” said Meredith Ahr, President, Alternative & Reality Group, NBC Entertainment.
Last summer, America's Got Talent averaged a 2.1 rating in adults 18-49 and 11.9 million viewers overall in Live+7 Nielsens. The 14th cycle of AGT once again easily ranked as the summer's #1 most-watched entertainment series, towering by 4.4 million viewers over the next most-watched entertainment program.
AGT is also a digital/social phenomenon, amassing 3.2 billion views across all digital video platforms in 2019. AGT was the #1 most-social broadcast series of 2019 42.8 million total interactions to date in linear metrics, Source: Nielsen Social SCR.
In this edition of TV Bits:
Showtime has changed the schedule of Black Monday and two other shows. Watch a trailer for Billions season 5. The Crown was able to beat the coronavirus and wrap early. Star Trek: Short Treks coming to Blu-ray in June. ESPN is airing an encore presentation of O.J.: Made in America.
The coronavirus scare is causing many TV shows to shut down production, which means several things are going to be delayed. Showtime was planning on debuting two episodes of Black Monday season 2 a week, but since the second season hasn’t had a chance to wrap yet, they’re changing things up. Instead, they’ll premiere one episode per week beginning March 22, and continuing through Sunday, April 12. Meanwhile, two of their new documentary shows, Outcry and Love Fraud, are moving to a later date this year.
One upcoming Showtime season that did manage to wrap is Billions season 5, which now has a trailer. In this season, “Bobby Axelrod Damian Lewis and Chuck Rhoades Paul Giamatti see their vicious rivalry reignited, while new enemies rise and take aim. Social impact pioneer Mike Prince Corey Stoll poses a true threat to Axe’s dominance, and Chuck feuds with a formidable district attorney. Taylor Mason Asia Kate Dillon is forced back to Axe Capital, where they must fight to protect their employees and their assets. Wendy Rhoades Maggie Siff reevaluates her loyalties and forges surprising new alliances that put her at odds with both Chuck and Axe. This season, the struggle for power becomes a struggle for survival, and all characters must adapt or risk extinction. Margulies will play Catherine Brant, an Ivy League sociology professor and bestselling author.” The new season debuts on Sunday, May 3.
While many shows are being forced to halt production, Netflix’s The Crown was able to get ahead of the curve and wrap filming on season 4 early. EW says the show, which was shooting in the U.K., rushed through the last of its production to finish a day early, ensuring that the series wouldn’t have to shut down, and that the new season would arrive on Netflix sometime this year. Season 4 is going to be the second-to-last season of the show, with season 5 concluding the saga of Quen Elizabeth II’s reign so far.
Star Trek: Short Treks is headed to Blu-ray. For the first time ever, all nine CBS All Access shorts are being compiled into one collection, due out on Blu-ray and DVD June 2. The shorts include “Runaway”, “Calypso”, “The Brightest Star”, “The Escape Artist”, “Q&A”, “The Trouble with Edward”, “Ask Not”, “Ephraim & Dot”, and “The Girl Who Made the Stars.” The following special features are...