Simon Cowell will return as 'America's Got Talent' judge

Simon Cowell enjoyed his first season as a judge on America's Got Talent so much that he's signed a deal to come back for three more.

The other panelists — Mel B, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel — also will return next season, as will host Nick Cannon, NBC announced Tuesday.

The NBC talent competition, which recently crowned 12-year-old singer and ukulele player Grace VanderWaal as Season 11 champ, had its most-watched season in five years with Cowell, AGT's executive producer and a former American Idol judge, on the panel.

"America's Got Talent is a fantastic and — most importantly — fun show both to work on and to watch,” Cowell said in a statement. “NBC (programmers) have been brilliant partners. I've loved this past season and look forward to discovering more great talent in the years to come."

"It was terrific to see Simon in his judge's chair this past season, bringing his unique expertise and enthusiasm to the show, night after night," NBC alternative-programming chief Paul Telegdy said in a statement. "His brilliance has made AGT the industry leader that it is today and his ability to evaluate and spot talent is unmatched, so we couldn't be happier to have him seated at the judge's table for the next three years."


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