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New York — Simon Cowell is heading back in front of the cameras as a replacement for Howard Stern as a judge on NBC’s summertime series “America’s Got Talent.”

NBC announced Thursday that Cowell, one of the show’s producers and creators of the format, will start next season. The show has remained one of summer’s most popular programs even as ratings for other reality shows have faded.

Cowell’s caustic commentary on Fox’s “American Idol” is what launched him into U.S. stardom. He left “American Idol” after the 2010 season, when it was still one of television’s top shows, and will begin on “America’s Got Talent” shortly after “American Idol” goes off the air for the final time.

“What I love about this show is that it’s open to absolutely anyone,” Cowell said. “America has some fantastic talent just waiting to be discovered, and I would like that talent to come to our show, including any dogs who can sing.”

Besides Stern, other judges this past season were Howie Mandel, Mel B and Heidi Klum. NBC has not announced whether the other judges will return. Nick Cannon has hosted the show.

The show will be in its 11th season next summer. The format has been replicated widely, now airing in 183 countries.

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