UK & World News

  • 21 February 2013, 22:26

Mel B Joins America's Got Talent As Judge

Former Spice Girl Mel B is joining the judging panel of the TV show America's Got Talent.

Broadcaster NBC said the 37-year-old, known as Scary Spice when she was part of the chart-topping girl band, will replace Sharon Osbourne.

Osbourne quit the series in a dispute with NBC over their decision to drop her son Jack from another reality show.

Mel B, or Melanie Brown, will join "shock jock" Howard Stern, who has agreed to return for his second season, and comedian Howie Mandel.

"This exciting addition of the dynamic Mel B to our line-up of judges promises that fans will see a strong, talented and opinionated woman match up against our equally outspoken judges Howard Stern and Howie Mandel," NBC president of alternative programming Paul Telegdy said in a statement.

Mel B said she was thrilled to join the talent show, adding in a statement: "It's so exciting to be bringing some Girl Power to the panel!"

She was previously a contestant on ABC's Dancing With The Stars. In 2010, she starred with her family in a reality series for The Style Network.

Married to movie producer Stephen Belafonte, the Yorkshire-born singer has three children. The family live in Los Angeles.

She recently completed a two-season run as judge on the Australian edition of The X Factor and for one season was co-host of the Australian Dancing With The Stars.

She was reunited with the Spice Girls last year, first for the Olympic closing ceremony and later for the opening of the Spice Girls musical Viva Forever!

NBC said nationwide auditions for the new season of America's Got Talent will start on March 4 in New Orleans.

The network is seeking to turn around a fall in audiences last year when the finale in September was watched by a record low of fewer than 11 million viewers, according to ratings data.

The show remained the top-rated summer series among adults aged 18-49, the demographic most coveted by advertisers.

NBC attributed the overall 2012 audience decline partly to an earlier start that pitted it against end-of-season original programming in May and the start of new TV shows in September.

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