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BC-TV-TALENT-PREVIEW:ND – entertainment (350 words)

Season premiere of America’s Got Talent,’ Tuesday on NBC

By Verne Gay

Newsday

(MCT)

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REASON TO WATCH: Fourth season has a new host, Nick Cannon, replacing Jerry Springer, plus this compelling question: Will Susan Boyle appear?

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: There are a couple of new wrinkles that could – and are certainly designed to – confer water cooler status on the show.

First, new host Cannon (more on him below). Second, Susan Boyle, the runner-up of “Britain’s Got Talent.” Judge Piers Morgan was asked recently whether she’ll be on, and he couldn’t get the answer out fast enough: “I hope so … what a moment that would be.” (Why not Mariah Carey, too? She is, after all, married to Cannon.) At least last season’s winner, Neal E. Boyd, is likely to be a guest. Quarterfinal live editions begin July 3.

THE PRODUCER SAYS: Scott St. John, one of the executive producers, says Cannon will “infuse some spontaneity and humor in the show … He’s a really nice guy, and very grounded, and brings heart to it.”

The format will be tweaked, too. The show will travel to contestants’ hometowns “to give the audience a clearer picture of the background of our performers, almost like those Olympic moments,” St. John says.

As for Boyle? Nothing firm yet, he says.

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BOTTOM LINE: Cannon offers the real possibility that the somewhat old-fashioned “AGT” is about to get updated and urbanized. Fix not what is not broken? A good maxim in principal, considering that last summer’s third season was seen by an average of 13 million viewers. That’s a heck of a big number any time of year, but the hard and cold fact remains that “AGT” has not reached the heights any of the interested parties could originally have hoped for.

The Simon Cowell-judged “Britain’s Got Talent” is a cultural tsunami on the opposite side of the pond. “AGT” is but a comparative wavelet here. So, Cannon: If his MTV series (“Wild ‘N Out,” “Short Circuitz”) were any indication Nick’s funny, and if he gets hot, “AGT” will get hot, too.

AMERICA’S GOT TALENT”

9 p.m. EDT Tuesday

NBC

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Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services



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