“America’s Got Talent” will air its first two live shows this week without Simon Cowell at the judges’ table as he recovers from emergency back surgery, NBC announced Sunday.
Cowell underwent five-hour surgery on Saturday evening after suffering a serious injury while testing his new electric bike outside his Malibu, California, home. His representatives say that the operation was successful and he is in the hospital recovering from surgery involving “a number of fusions and metal rod put into his back.”
The long-running NBC reality competition has continued its latest 15th season throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, which arrived in the U.S. while the show was in the midst of shooting its audition episodes. Production was shut down last spring before resuming with virtual performances. Live shows will begin this Tuesday, August 11, with a results show scheduled for Wednesday.
Earlier on Sunday, Cowell’s rep said, “Simon has broken his back in a number of places in a fall from his bike whilst testing a new electric bike in the courtyard of his home in Malibu with his family. He was taken to [the] hospital where they operated overnight, he’s under observation and is doing fine.”
Cowell created “AGT” and has served as a judge since the show’s 11th season. He has also been the judge on “Britain’s Got Talent,” “The X Factor” and “American Idol.”
Cowell currently lives with his girlfriend Lauren Silverman, their 6-year-old son, Eric, and her 14-year-old son from a previous relationship.