America's Got Talent is an American reality television series on the NBC television network, and part of the global British Got Talent franchise. It is a talent show that features singers, dancers, magicians, comedians, and other performers of all ages competing for the advertised top prize of one million dollars. The show debuted in June 2006 for the summer television season. From season three onwards, the prize includes the one million dollars, payable in a financial annuity over 40 years, and a show as the headliner on the Las Vegas Strip. Among its significant features is that it gives an opportunity to talented amateurs or unknown performers, with the results decided by an audience vote. The format is a popular one and has often been reworked for television in the United States and the United Kingdom.
This incarnation was created by Simon Cowell, and was originally due to be a 2005 British series called Paul O'Grady's Got Talent but was postponed due to O'Grady's acrimonious split with broadcaster ITV. As such, the American version became the first full series of the franchise. Despite Cowell's involvement in the show's production, his contract with Fox for his involvement with American Idol prevented him from being involved in the show as a judge. After leaving Idol, Cowell began to produce and judge the U.S. version of The X Factor for Fox in 2011.