NBC and America’s Got Talent are making moves to fill the two empty judges’ seats on the talent competition.
The network and producer Fremantle met with Modern Family star Sofia Vergara on Wednesday to discuss her joining the summer series, among other projects. The show parted ways with judges Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough in late November after each served a single season on the show.
Following her dismissal, Union said she was let go for complaining of a “toxic culture” on the show’s set, citing a racially insensitive joke made by guest judge Jay Leno (that was cut from the broadcast) and complaints that her hairstyles were “too black.”
NBC is investigating Union’s allegations, and SAG-AFTRA has also opened an investigation. Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that the network’s probe will cover NBC, Fremantle, exec producer and judge Simon Cowell’s Syco Productions and day-to-day producers on the series. Cowell, who has borne the brunt of public criticism over Union’s dismissal, is not at the center of the investigation.
“We remain committed to ensuring a respectful workplace for all employees and take very seriously any questions about workplace culture,” Fremantle and Syco said in a Dec. 1 statement. “We are working with Ms. Union through her representatives to hear more about her concerns, following which we will take whatever next steps may be appropriate.”
Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that NBC is actively talking with several possible judges to join AGT alongside returnees Cowell and Howie Mandel.
ABC’s Modern Family is set to wrap its 11-season run in the spring; Vergara has earned four Emmy and four Golden Globe nominations for her role as Gloria Delgado Pritchett on the comedy. AGT is set to begin production on its 15th season in March.
TMZ first reported the meeting between Vergara and NBC.
This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.