Kenan Thompson to Guest Judge on America's Got Talent as Simon Cowell Continues to Recuperate

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Kelly Clarkson's two-episode stint on America's Got Talent is over. 

With Simon Cowell still recuperating from surgery following the freak accident that resulted in his back being broken, NBC has announced he will not return to the talent show for this week's live shows. 

Filling in this week is Kenan Thompson, who will join judges Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, and Sofia Vergara as they proceed with the live shows. 

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Cowell suffered a serious injury while testing his new electric scooter outside his Malibu home. 

The star took to Twitter to update fans on his condition and said the following:

“Some good advice… If you buy an electric trail bike, read the manual before you ride it for the first time.”

“Thank you to everyone for your kind messages. And a massive thank you to all the nurses and doctors. Some of the nicest people I have ever met.”

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American Idol winner Clarkson was subsequently announced as his temporary replacement on the talent show

“My friend, Simon Cowell, is doing better now but was in an accident and won’t be able to make Tuesday and Wednesday’s live shows for AGT," the Kelly Clarkson show host said in a statement ahead of her debut.

"But no worries America, someone far wiser, cooler, and hotter is taking his seat! The unbelievably amazing Kelly Clarkson 😜 You’re welcome in advance!”

Production on America's Got Talent was halted back in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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It was able to resume production in early June with social distancing in place, and that meant there had to be some changes to the way the show was made. 

To help matters, the series left its usual Hollywood auditorium behind for an outdoor location in Simi Valley.

It resembles a drive-in theater, and allows the judges to have an appropriate distance between them to maintain social distancing.

To help keep the show on the air, NBC scheduled a string of retrospective specials.

Simon Cowell Attends AGT Premiere

When fresh episodes did return to the air, the Judge Cuts were slashed from four episodes to one.

Thompson, for his part, has a strong relationship with NBC having starred on Saturday Night Live since 2003, also served as a judge on last year's Bring the Funny. 

He also has a comedy series titled Kenan in the works at the network. 

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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