Table of Contents
- Former ‘AGT’ host Nick Cannon backs Gabrielle Union, doesn’t let Terry Crews off the hook
- Terry Crews Really, Really Wants to Be America’s Next Great Host
- ‘America’s Got Talent’ host Terry Crews challenges Gabrielle Union on racism allegations
- ‘America’s Got Talent’ Judging Panel, Tyra Banks Set to Return for Season 13
Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Terry Crews is set to host America’s Got Talent: The Champions, the winter edition of NBC’s top-rated America’s Got Talent.
Crews will join AGT judges Mel B, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and executive producer Simon Cowell on the series which will premiere in January. Tyra Banks hosts the summer edition of AGT.
The Champions edition will bring together the most talented, memorable, wackiest and all-around fan favorite acts from past seasons of AGT, according to NBC. The show also will feature of the most popular acts from the other global Got Talent franchises.
“I am so proud and honored to join Simon, Mel, Heidi and Howie in hosting the #1 alternative series on television,” Crews said. “NBC’s America’s Got Talent is a show I love to watch with my family and now to actually be a part of this special edition, The Champions, is more than I could have asked or dreamed. Now America’s Got Terry Crews!”
America’s Got Talent has remained the No. 1 summer show for 13 straight seasons. The final performance episode delivered the show’s most-watched telecast of the season to date, with 13 million same-day viewers.
Crews stars in hit comedy series Brooklyn Nine-Nine which is moving from Fox to NBC in midseason. He was most recently seen on the big screen in Deadpool 2 and Sorry To Bother You, both of which were released this summer.
America’s Got Talent was created by Simon Cowell and is co-produced by Syco Entertainment and Fremantle. Simon Cowell, Sam Donnelly, Jason Raff, Trish Kinane and Richard Wallace executive produce.
Terry Alan Crews (born July 30, 1968) is the host of Champions 1 and Champions 2. He also host Season 14 of America’s Got Talent.
A former NFL linebacker born in Flint, Michigan, Terry branched into acting playing roles in several sitcoms including Everybody Hates Chris and Are We There Yet? He also served as host of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire from 2014 to 2015 and has also done many movies including The Expendables series.
He has been playing the role of Terry Jeffords on the sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine since 2013. In 2017, he was included among a group of people named as Time magazine’s Person of the Year.
- Terry is the second America’s Got Talent host to have previously hosted Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, followed by Regis Philbin.
- Golden Buzzer: Kseniya Simonova (Champions), Detroit Youth Choir (14)
- Like his predecessor Tyra Banks, both of Terry’s known Golden Buzzer acts finished in the top 3 of their respective series’ final as of the end of Season 14. Coincidentally, like Tyra his first Golden Buzzer act placed third overall, and his second finished as runner-up.
- YouTube Channel
Former ‘AGT’ host Nick Cannon backs Gabrielle Union, doesn’t let Terry Crews off the hook
Nick Cannon isn’t blaming “America’s Got Talent” host Terry Crews for his comments in the aftermath of judge Gabrielle Union’s dismissal from the NBC talent competition, but he’s hardly backing him.
In an interview with VladTV posted Tuesday, the host of Fox’s “The Masked Singer,” which opens Season 3 Sunday after the Super Bowl, threw his wholehearted support behind Union and suggested Crews was being loyal to his employer.
Soon after news broke in November that Union and fellow judge Julianne Hough were being dropped after one season, Variety reported on a “toxic culture” at the show that included racist jokes and excessive focus on female judges’ appearances, including race-related comments. Union later reported speaking her “unfiltered truth” during a “productive” five-hour meeting with NBC, which is investigating the situation and promising changes, if necessary, according to NBC Entertainment chief Paul Telegdy.
Cannon, who left “AGT” in 2017 after seven seasons of hosting, backs Union without reservation.
Without detailing specific incidents, Cannon responded to a question about the culture at “AGT” by saying, “It was some eye-opening events that occurred that really just shed light on some cultural insensitvities, ultimately, when it comes to women, when it comes to how the show is produced.”
Different perspectives:Gabrielle Union tweets about being thrown ‘under the bus’ after Terry Crews defends ‘AGT’
During his time on the show, Cannon said he saw things “that are truly not fair” regarding how the contestants and judges are handled.
Crews, who succeeded Tyra Banks as host in 2019, said he hadn’t experienced the “toxic culture” described in the Variety story during an appearance on “Today” last week.
“I can’t speak for sexism because I’m not a woman, but I can speak on behalf of any racism comments. That was never my experience,” he said. “In fact, it was the most diverse place I have ever been in my 20 years of entertainment.”
He continued, “When you look at what the allegations were about, it was given by an unnamed source. My thing is – it’s funny because I believe you should listen to women, you should always believe women, so I asked my wife what I should do. She was like, ‘First of all, if it’s coming from an unnamed source – because Gabrielle Union has not made any statement about any of these allegations publicly – … If she hasn’t made a statement, why would you?’ ”
Critical response:Terry Crews says his wife is the only one ‘I have to please’ amid backlash over ‘AGT’ comments
Crews faced backlash after that appearance. Many think Union was referring to his comments in her response to a supporter the next day that talked about “those who enthusiastically will throw you under the bus.”
Cannon says problems at “AGT” are an “institutional issue” related to corporate entities Fremantle, which produces the show, and NBC.
“Fremantle (is) based out of the U.K. and a lot of their producers don’t understand the cultural sensitivities of American culture. And then … you have a network like NBC that’s only really worried about the dollar at the end of the day. All they want to see is that final product. They don’t care how you got to it,” he said. “So, when someone like Gabby, who is well educated, well-versed in speaking her mind, says, ‘Oh, this isn’t right, this shouldn’t be occurring,’ then people are like, ‘Now, she’s angry. Now, she’s a troublemaker.’ No. She’s pointing out things that are true issues that need to be fixed.”
He said he loves Crews and doesn’t blame him, but suggested the current host doesn’t want to speak ill of his employer.
“We get excited about the occupation. We get excited to work for the man and we’re going to defend the man because he gave me a job. And ‘I ain’t seen nothing’ becomes the thing. It don’t matter what you saw,” he said, adding that he supported Crews when he accused his then-agent, Adam Venit, of groping him.
“I stood firmly by him when my former agent accosted him and people thought it was funny. We all thought it was funny, because the situation was so hard to believe that sometimes it can appear to be humorous,” Cannon said. “But the idea was it didn’t matter if it was funny. We stood by you because you said this was an issue. We didn’t see Adam Venit grab your genitalia, but you said it happened so we rocked with you.”
Terry Crews Really, Really Wants to Be America’s Next Great Host
Terry Crews is anything but predictable. Whether he’s bouncing between disparate roles in “The Newsroom” and “Arrested Development” or inviting you to interview him from the “America’s Got Talent” makeup room while he’s getting his head shaved, the former NFL linebacker turned SAG Award-nominated actor is always, always, always pushing himself to try something new.
“I have a rule: I only do what I love,” Crews told IndieWire. “I’ve turned down crazy money for commercials and things that I don’t want to represent. It’s just I only do what I like, and that’s it.”
Knowing the entertainment industry is a fickle business, Crews has spread the love around, from action franchises, long-running TV series, weird indies, memorable commercials, his own video game, and much, much more. But his latest passion lies in yet another unexpected space: How did Terry Crews go from “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” to hosting “America’s Got Talent”?
For one, Terry’s got a bit of talent himself.
“When we were casting , he was already killing it so hard,” Andy Samberg told IndieWire. “I think he’s been given more opportunity to flex his acting muscles — I can’t believe I said that, it was inadvertent — and has been able to show more sides of his performance ability. But I think it was always there.”
But why hosting? After finding success as an actor, why push his way into another profession?
“Being an old football player, I realized that you don’t make tackles for the money or all of the accolades — you do it for the cheers,” he said. “You do it for the crowd participation. That’s the one thing I missed . I was always jealous of comedians because they get that response when they do a show — they get those laughs right .”
Crews missed the feedback so much he would sneak into the back of movie theaters to hear what audiences thought of his movies. He didn’t trust the industry folks laughing at the premiere screening — “The premiere is a lie” — and guesting on talk shows were equally unfulfilling. He needed more reaction, and knowing he wasn’t ready to be a stand-up comedian, Crews asked himself what’s the next best thing.
“I remember when I hosted my first live show, someone said, ‘Man, what does it feel like doing a New Year’s Eve in front of 200,000 people?’ I was like, ‘No man, there’s 10 million people watching.’ So now, I want the biggest audience possible, the biggest test, and it’s so satisfying when you do it well. I was like, I got to get more. And then I got hooked.”
Terry Crews with the judges of “AGT: The Champions”
Crews said he took every opportunity he could get to host in order to get people to see him that way. He co-hosted “NBC’s New Year’s Eve” telecast in 2014, guest hosted on “The View” that same year, and snagged his first awards hosting gig on the 2015 TV Land Awards. From there, he hosted episodes of “World’s Funniest,” the American spin on “Ultimate Beastmaster,” and guested on prominent ongoing talk shows like “The View” and “The Talk.”
None of these roles demand the same attributes. Some are loud, action-driven spectacles that demand an energy to match, while others are soft-spoken, mid-day discussion pieces where the host has to step aside to make room for the guests. But Crews said he thrives on feeling uncomfortable by new challenges.
“It’s going to feel like hell. The problem is that people feel like things should feel right. What I realized is that it usually feels very, very wrong, but you’re in the right place. And as long as you look at all the things that you wanted to do and it’s going to feel awkward, that’s where the magic is. I learned not to trust it. You don’t trust everything feeling great.”
Between 2014 and 2015, Crews pushed himself to new levels of endurance, hosting nearly 200 episodes of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” at the same time he was starring in “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” Anyone who’s been on a broadcast sitcom will tell you that gig alone is a full-time job, so Crews wasn’t popping over to “Millionaire” just for kicks and giggles. He wanted to host, and the long-running game show gave him a shot.
“I did ‘Millionaire’ on the East Coast, and ‘Brooklyn’ was done right here on the West Coast,” Crews said. “That was an immense journey.
To get through such a grinding schedule, Crews thought like a football player — he used his background in athletic training to get in the right mindset and excel; a trick he still uses now.
“I’m coachable,” he said. “I want all the feedback.” And even when he gets advice from others, Crews watches tape of himself — just like football players after a game — to pick apart every mistake and high point so he can get better the next time out.
“The first pass is a horror pass, where it’s like everything you did wrong highlighted,” Crews said. “And you cry, then you do a pass that is all about the great things you just did. It’s always going to end on the great things. I have my wife do it, too. She’s like ‘Well, you know honey, I think you shouldn’t have done that little pelvic thrust in that moment.’ I’m like ‘Maybe a little too much, huh?’ She’s like, ‘Yeah maybe.’”
Terry Crews in “America’s Got Talent: The Champions”
All that work paid off when he got to host “America’s Got Talent: The Champions.” A spinoff from the successful original series, “AGT: Champions” allowed Crews to get comfortable hosting with a massive audience. He credits Simon Cowell for pushing Crews to be himself and “challenge” the longtime judge to see the show in a different light.
Crews started becoming more active in the series, helping the contestants get ready for their talent showcase and trusting himself to be an additive presence instead of a baseline.
“I would tell acts, ‘Hey man, it’s not nerves — it’s excitement,’” he said. “They’d go out there and do a great job, and then I feel like I created the atmosphere. Where before, I would do the job ‘You don’t want to interfere.’ But man, if you interfere positively, . If you see a wet spot on the floor, hey, you got to interfere.”
Now, he’s on the main show: Crews is hosting the new season of “America’s Got Talent,” and he couldn’t be more thrilled.
“The cool thing is that whatever they need me to be, that’s what I am,” he said. “It’s the biggest platform on the world’s biggest talent show, and I’m the biggest host — pound for pound, you know?”
Crews’ colleagues appreciate his distinct personality and make the most of it on-air; his “AGT” family cracks loving jokes during competition, and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” showrunner Dan Goor mined Crews’ history to flesh out his fictional police persona.
“He has such an interesting backstory and there are so many interesting characteristics about real Terry — some of which we’ve stolen for Terry Jeffords — which are so compelling,” he said. “Like, he’s a very accomplished fine artist and has the spirit of an artist, but is as muscular as an NFL player.”
“Quite literally,” Samberg said.
Next up, Crews is taking yet another unexpected turn: his first leading role in a feature, playing the eponymous “John Henry” in Will Forbes independent drama.
“I read it, I was like ‘I’m in,’ and they green lit the whole thing,” he said. “We spent two or three weeks down in South Central shooting the whole deal — micro budget, everybody bringing their own craft service, you know what I mean? But that’s it — that’s the joy. It’s really risky. Everybody’s like, ‘Why? You could have done some big safe thing.’ I was like, nope. is very, very different for me, but that’s the challenge. That keeps the life exciting.”
Terry Crews is eligible for “America’s Got Talent: The Champions” in the Outstanding Host for a Reality or Competition Program category. He is also hosting IndieWire’s Consider This FYC Brunch, which you can watch the start of below and the entirety of here. “America’s Got Talent” premieres Tuesday, May 28 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.
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‘America’s Got Talent’ host Terry Crews challenges Gabrielle Union on racism allegations
After drawing criticism for his silence on the controversy surrounding Gabrielle Union’s exit from “America’s Got Talent,” host Terry Crews is finally speaking out — but not in support of his former castmate.
And Union does not seem pleased.
Appearing on Thursday’s “Today” show, Crews addressed reports that Union was relieved of her judging duties on the NBC reality show in November after she voiced concerns about a toxic and racist culture on set.
Among the incidents Union is said to have reported were an offensive joke Jay Leno allegedly made about Korean restaurants while taping a spot for the series, as well as notes from the network allegedly asking Union to tone down her “too black” hairstyles.
“I can’t speak for sexism because I am not a woman, but I can speak on behalf of any racism comments,” Crews said. “That was never my experience on ‘America’s Got Talent.’ In fact, it was the most diverse place I have ever been in my 20 years of entertainment. The top 10 acts were Asian, women, older, younger, black, white. It was everything in the gamut.”
“I believe you should listen to women — you should always believe women — so I asked my wife what I should do,” Crews said Thursday. “Because Gabrielle Union has not made any statement to this day about any of these allegations publicly. … My wife said, ‘Well, if she hasn’t made a statement, why would you?’”
When asked if he had spoken to Union herself, Crews replied, “I have not. I reached out but I have not heard anything.”
Without naming the “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” star directly, Union on Friday appeared to slam Crews’ comments and defend herself on Twitter, where she has remained outspoken about injustices in the entertainment industry.
“Truth telling, wanting change & having MULTIPLE witnesses who bravely came forward to let EVERYONE know I didn’t lie or exaggerate, really exposes those who enthusiastically will throw you under the bus, forgetting quickly who stepped up 4 THEIR truth,” she wrote in response to a supportive fan, later adding, “Why anyone would gleefully get up on TV and tell lies that NO ONE disputed. … But we already know.”
Thank u! Cuz girlllllll 😐 Truth telling, wanting change & having MULTIPLE witnesses who bravely came forward to let EVERYONE know I didn’t lie or exaggerate, really exposes those who enthusiastically will throw you under the bus, forgetting quickly who stepped up 4 THEIR truth. https://t.co/X1uooWTpmK
— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) January 24, 2020
While Union hasn’t publicly discussed her grievances with the show, she has acknowledged the ongoing discourse around and investigation into her claims, offering an update after meeting with NBC to discuss the situation.
“We had a lengthy 5-hour, and what I thought to be, productive meeting yesterday,” the actress tweeted last month. “I was able to, again, express my unfiltered truth. I led with transparency and my desire and hope for real change.”
Their sit-down prompted the network to launch a further investigation into Union’s concerns.
A lot has transpired since NBC fired Gabrielle Union from “America’s Got Talent” after she alleged a toxic and racist culture on the show.
It’s unclear if Crews received any consultation from NBC — which houses both “America’s Got Talent” and “Today” — before weighing in on the debate Thursday. But Union’s latest social media remarks suggest she isn’t pleased with how the network is handling the investigation.
“Maaaaaan… We all agreed to let the investigation be completed before speaking but if we doing this… ohhhhh baby let’s gooooooooooo!” she wrote.
Maaaaaan… We all agreed to let the investigation be completed before speaking but if we doing this… ohhhhh baby let’s gooooooooooo!
— Gabrielle Union (@itsgabrielleu) January 24, 2020
Crews will appear next as emcee of “America’s Got Talent: The Champions” on Monday.
‘America’s Got Talent’ Judging Panel, Tyra Banks Set to Return for Season 13
“America’s Got Talent” has re-signed its entire judging panel for the show’s upcoming Season 13, the network announced Wednesday.
Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and Mel B. will return as judges, with Tyra Banks also returning as the show’s host.
The popular competition series is coming off a record-breaking Season 12, which was the show’s most-watched ever. In Nielsen’s Live+7 ratings, Season 12 of “America’s Got Talent” averaged a 3.5 rating in adults 18-49 and 16 million viewers per episode. That is up by double digits in both measures compared to Season 11. It has also been the most-watched summer unscripted series for each of its 12 seasons on the air and the number one entertainment show on the broadcast networks in total viewers every week it aired last summer. It has also been used to successfully help launch other shows, with the Jennifer Lopez-produced “World of Dance” launching successfully behind “AGT” Season 12.
Auditions for season 13 of “AGT” are still underway, with open calls being held in Phoenix, Ariz., on Saturday, Feb. 24. In addition, online auditions are open through March 9.
The show is produced by FremantleMedia North America and Syco Entertainment, with Cowell, Trish Kinane, and Richard Wallace executive producing along with Sam Donnelly and Jason Raff.
Terry Crews, star of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, will host America’s Got Talent: The Champions on NBC. The show debuts in January and will feature past winners of America’s Got Talent, along with fan favorites and other memorable acts. The Champions will also feature acts who have performed on other Got Talent shows around the globe.
Credit: Benjo Arwas/Contour by Getty Images
Mel B, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and Simon Cowell will be judges. Cowell created America’s Got Talent and is an executive producer.
Related: John Legend to Coach on ‘The Voice’ Next Spring
Syco Entertainment and Fremantle produce the show.
Tyra Banks hosts America’s Got Talent for its summer runs.
Crews became an actor after a career in the NFL. His films include Deadpool 2 and Sorry to Bother You.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which aired on Fox for five seasons, starts on NBC in the mid-season.
“I am so proud and honored to join Simon, Mel, Heidi and Howie in hosting the No. 1 alternative series on television,” Crews said. “NBC’s America’s Got Talent is a show I love to watch with my family and now to actually be a part of this special edition, The Champions, is more than I could have asked or dreamed. Now America’s Got Terry Crews!”
America’s Got Talent has 13 seasons to date.
Cowell, Sam Donnelly, Jason Raff, Trish Kinane and Richard Wallace are the executive producers.
Photo by: NBCUniversal
Last season on America’s Got Talent, the show welcomed a new cast member, host Tyra Banks, after longtime host Nick Cannon quit. Cannon left the show after controversy over a joke that he made on his stand-up special Stand Up, Don’t Shoot. Cannon said that his decision to leave was after NBC network executives threatened to fire him over a racial joke. In a statement on Facebook, Cannon wrote the following message: I write this from a deeply saddened and dolorous mindset. After days of deliberating over some extremely disappointing news that I was being threatened with termination by Executives because of a comedy special that was only intended to bring communities closer together, I was to be punished for a joke. This has weighed heavy on my spirit. It was brought to my attention by my “team” that NBC believed that I was in breach of contract because I had disparaged their brand … Recently many of my mentors have cautioned me that soon “The System” would come down on me because I was speaking too many truths and being to loud about it. I had no idea that it all would hit so close to home.
Cannon continued: I find myself in a dark place having to make a decision that I wish I didn’t have to, but as a man, an artist, and a voice for my community I will not be silenced, controlled or treated like a piece of property. There is no amount of money worth my dignity or my integrity. I have loved hosting AMERICAS GOT TALENT for the last 8 seasons, watching talented, brave, and courageous Americans accomplish their dreams in front of millions has been nothing but a joy, and everyone has been a pleasure to work with but my soul won’t allow me to be in business with corporations that attempt to frown on freedom of speech, censor artists, and question cultural choices. Not to get too detailed but this isn’t the first time executives have attempted to “put me in my place” for so called unruly actions. I will not stand for it … It’s never been about the money for me, what is difficult to walk away from is the fans, the people who love me on the show.
Photo by: Evans Vestal Ward – NBCUniversal
To read Cannon’s complete message, view it on his Facebook account, here. As for Banks stepping in as the new host, she was announced as the first female host of the show in March 2017. And, now, she is back again, as the host of season 13.
In addition to Banks’ return, judges model Heidi Klum, music artist Mel B, comedian Howie Mandel and big wig Simon Cowell have all come back as well. And, while Cowell is on the AGT judges’ panel, he is also a judge on several other shows, including Britain’s Got Talent and X Factor UK.
When dishing on the current AGT auditions, Cowell revealed to USA Today that, “There’s one act in particular. Wow! I’ve never seen anything like this. It was like Linda Blair decided to audition from The Exorcist. She doesn’t talk. It’s one of the weirdest, scariest acts we’ve ever had on the show … There’s three or four singers who have a real shot. They’re different. (In 2016), I said I was hoping we could attract better singers to the show and I think that’s a big part of it now.”
Cowell also gushed about his fellow cast members, saying, “We have great producers, we’re on a network that loves these kinds of shows, we get good people to come on the show and we’ve got a great judging panel (that also includes Mel B, Heidi Klum and Howie Mandel).”