Music

Simon Cowell misses £8million pay day as AGT: The Champions is shelved

Simon Cowell has been dealt a further blow beyond his ongoing health issues with his biggest global TV show being shelved.

Cowell’s prime time programme America’s Got Talent: The Champions is “not slated” for a return in January, which means he will miss out on a £7.7million ($10m) payday too.

Cowell’s AGT: The Champions is usually a staple in NBC networks’ January schedules with Got Talent stars from around the world flying in to perform for the judges and audiences.

Usually the auditions would have been filmed and completed in the last few weeks.

But that has not happened because of Covid and Simon’s back break injury status.

NBC sources say “they are not aware of any plans to bring the show back” especially with “Simon incapacitated and the pandemic".

The Champions has been a hit for the network and a strong way to attract audiences in January, as well as a spot to showcase and promote Cowell’s past star roster including Susan Boyle and Paul Potts to US audiences.

Last year Cowell’s pal Alesha Dixon was a judge in the series.

An LA TV source said: “2020 is unfortunately getting worse for Simon.

“The Champions show was a wonderful deal for him. He got $10m for judging, EP and Syco rights to the brand from the network and his acts were given huge promotion in the USA.

“Usually the Champions films straight after the summer season of AGT ends. But there were clear problems and issues outside of Simon’s health.

“The thought of doing remotely is an option, but not at this moment in time with all the challenges facing Hollywood and the strict work regulations.”

Cowell is recuperating at his Malibu home from his back breaking bike accident.

He was pictured out with his son and partner Lauren Silverman, but is "unable to work" and on "intense pain medication".

In February AGT: The Champions drew a 1.2 rating among adults 18-49 and 7.57m viewers, which was down from the premiere of 8.06m.

Simon did not return for the final of BGT.

ITV has already put X Factor on hold this year, with doubts about its 2021 return brewing.

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