Simon Cowell to Skip America's Got Talent Live Shows After Breaking Back

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When America's Got Talent kicks off its live shows this week, it will be without franchise overlord Simon Cowell. 

Cowell broke his back Saturday while testing his new electric bike while at his home in Malibu, Calif. 

He was subsequently rushed to hospital where he underwent a five-hour surgery. 

Simon Cowell Photo

He is now recovering at home. 

“Simon had surgery overnight and is doing okay this morning. It was a five-hour surgery and he has had to have a number of fusions and metal rod put into his back,” a source explained to People.

“He landed on his back when he fell from the bike. The injuries are bad but he’s also been told he was lucky.”

Cowell took to Twitter Sunday to thank fans for the support, as well as a warning about reading manuals. 

S. Cowell Pic

"Some good advice... If you buy an electric trail bike, read the manual before you ride it for the first time," he Tweeted.

"I have broken part of my back. Thank you to everyone for your kind messages."

The plan is for Cowell to return for the next week's live shows, but it's also possible his leave of absence could continue. 

Only time will tell whether the judge will be able to make his return, but we'll keep you updated on all the latest developments. 

Simon Cowell Attends AGT Premiere

America's Got Talent's 15th season has had several hurdles preventing it from keeping the cameras rolling. 

Production was halted due to the COVID-19 outbreak, forcing the show to rethink its approach to producing episodes. 

It returned to production in June at a new filming location. It relocated from the Hollywood auditorium to an outdoor setup in Simi Valley. 

Designed to resemble a drive-in movie theater, the set allowed for the judges and crew to maintain social distancing. 

Simon Cowell Attends ITV Event

There have also been some changes to the format, with the Judge Cuts being scaled back, and fans were largely unimpressed with the end result. 

It will all come down to the live shows to see whether the show can pick up the pace. 

We wish Simon a speedy recovery. 

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

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