Simon Cowell has been dealt a further blow beyond his ongoing health issues after DailyMail.com has learned his prime time show America’s Got Talent: The Champions is ‘not slated’ for a return in January.
A source at NBC Universal confirmed that the hit show – usually a staple in the network’s January schedules – won’t air.
The network has blamed the ‘challenges’ surrounding the coronavirus pandemic but the source insists the show hasn’t been ‘canceled’ just postponed.
The news is yet more heartache for Cowell who sources claim makes a cool $10million from the production which has run for the past two years.
‘Unfortunately 2020 is getting worse for Simon. The Champions show was a wonderful deal for him. He got $10million for judging, EP and Syco rights to the brand from the network and his acts were given huge promotion in the USA,’ one source said.
‘But the reality is that everything was stacked against him.’
Sources at NBC tell DailyMail.com that Simon Cowell’s prime time show America’s Got Talent The Champions is ‘not slated’ to return in January. Cowell was seen in public for the first time since breaking his back, 10 weeks ago
The network has blamed the ‘challenges’ surrounding the coronavirus pandemic but the source insists the show hasn’t been ‘canceled’ just postponed
‘Acts flying into LA are just not fully insurable, or even allowed in due to border restrictions.
‘And with the risks associated with COVID, many would have to quarantine for 14 days.
‘Even getting the judges together, socially distanced with a live audience – who vote for the show’s winners – is a headache.
‘On top of that Simon is still not fully fit. It would be a struggle for him to sit down for lengthy periods in comfort watching and judging acts.
‘A show like this has him working 14 hours plus a day, which is also against doctors’ advice.
‘Usually the Champions films straight after the summer season of AGT ends. But there were clear problems and issues so this never happened.
The Champions has been a hit for NBC and a strong way to attract audiences in January.
In the past Cowell has showcased a roster of stars including Susan Boyle and Paul Potts to U.S. audiences.
Cowell reportedly makes $10million for judging the show. ‘Unfortunately 2020 is getting worse for Simon. The Champions show was a wonderful deal for him,’ the source said
In the past Cowell has showcased a roster of stars including Susan Boyle (left) and Paul Potts (right) to U.S. audiences
Last year Cowell’s friend Alesha Dixon was a judge in the series.
The Champions has been a hit for NBC and a strong way to attract audiences in January
The source added: ‘The thought of doing the show remotely has been considered, but not at this moment in time with all the challenges facing Hollywood and the strict work regulations. ‘Perhaps things could play out in the Spring, but there are a lot of ifs and buts.’
Cowell is recuperating at his Malibu home after breaking his back in a freak bike accident 10 weeks ago.
The star was seen in public for the first time since the accident, as he stepped out with his partner and son Sunday.
The music mogul, 61, looked happy and healthy as he emerged with Lauren Silverman, 43, and Eric, six, during a grocery run in Los Angeles.
Cowell was rushed to hospital at the beginning of August when he fell from his electric bike whilst taking it for a test drive at his house in Malibu.
Despite his happy and healthy look though, his outing comes amid claims the star could be ‘out of action’ for up to six months due to his injury, reports The Sun.
The newspaper reported that it had been ‘a rough few weeks’, with Simon at first thinking he would have recovered from the procedure quickly.
Cowell was rushed to hospital at the beginning of August when he fell from his electric bike whilst taking it for a test drive at his house in Malibu (he’s pictured riding an E-Bike in April)
A source told the publication: ‘Instead, he’s had a setback from surgery to fuse two vertebrae and it has proven more complicated than a standard break.’
They added: ‘But he’s also quite vain and the idea of going on national TV with no studio make-up, and while on heavy-duty medication, didn’t appeal.
‘So, unfortunately, he had to decline [BGT] producers’ requests.’
In February AGT: The Champions drew a 1.2 rating among adults 18-49 and 7.57 million viewers which was down from the premiere of 8.06 million.
Cowell will not return for the final of BGT. ITV has already put X Factor on hold this year, with doubts about its 2021 return brewing.