2006: 'America's Got Talent' Debuts on NBC
On this day in 2006, NBC introduced America's Got Talent, a competition show in the same vein as the hit singing competition, American Idol. Or, perhaps, The Gong Show, depending on your institutional memory.
The show, produced by Idol's Simon Cowell, featured talents ranging from dancing and singing to acrobatics and stand-up comedy. And the featured performers ranged from elementary school-age kids to grandparents.
The judges for the show's debut season were singer/actress Brandy Norwood, David Hasselhoff and Britishman Piers Morgan, a former Britain's Got Talent judge who went on to take over Larry King's CNN timeslot with his own interview show, Piers Morgan Tonight, upon King's retirement.
Reality show star Sharon Osbourne (wife of Ozzy) took over for Brandy in Season 2; Howie Mandel replaced Hasselhoff in Season 5. Hosts for the show included Regis Philbin in Season 1, Jerry Springer for Seasons 2 and 3 and Nick Cannon for Season 4 on.
In 2011, radio talk show host Howard Stern announced that he was replacing Morgan for Season 7. The live show broadcasts moved from Hollywood to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark in 2012.