America's Got Talent

 
Fun-filled, family-friendly reality show.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Contestants are praised for doing their best (one who asks to try again makes it to the next round after nailing his act). Obviously, everyone wants to win. A few acts verge on offensive.

Positive role models

The judges offer criticism equally to all contestants. Most of the time it is fair. Contestants are from all walks of life and most are trying their best to show off their hard-earned talent.

Violence

Sometimes acts feature potentially dangerous stunts involving weapons. On a rare occasions contestants have gotten injured when their acts go awry, but no injuries or blood is visible.

Sex

Occasionally musicians and other artists appear in sexy outfits in hopes of gaining favor with the judges. Acts sometimes include strip teases, pole dances, and other sexualized behavior (some of which is decidedly not erotic).

Language

Hosts occasionally say words like "hell" or "Goddamn." Rare stronger language is bleeped.

Consumerism

Sponsor logos like Snapple are obviously placed on the judges table.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although the majority of acts that appear on America's Got Talent are tame, a few include sexualized behavior, insensitive jokes, and other potentially offensive behaviors. Strong vocab ('hell," "Goddamn") is sometimes audible (occasional curses are "bleeped"), and snarky remarks are sometimes exchanged between rejected contestants and judges. Acts occasionally incorporate sharp objects, weapons, and other potentially harmful props. On rare occasions contestants get hurt when tricks go awry. Sponsor logos for products like Snapple are prominently visible.

What's the story?

In NBC's reality competition series AMERICA'S GOT TALENT, aspiring performers duke it out on stage before three celebrity judges who will decide if they get to go on to the next round to compete for the chance to win $1 million. Performers attempt to impress by dancing, singing, playing instruments, and other creative performances. If the judges don't like what they see, they can hit an \"X\" button in front of them -- and once performers have racked up three Xs they're sent packing. But if they impress, they graduate to the next round. Throughout it all, the judges offer their criticism, and explain why they believe the contestant has/doesn't have the star quality they are looking for.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Sound familiar? It should. That's because the show is an almost exact replica of Fox's American Idol -- no surprise, since it's produced by original Idol judge Simon Cowell, who over the years has lined up celebrity judges like David Hasselhoff, Howie Mandel, Sharon Osborne and even a surprisingly gentle Howard Stern to "yea" or "nay" each act's performance. Though the show plays out on a glitzy stage with sophisticated lighting, thanks to the wide variety (and quality) of the acts it often feels like a high-school talent show. But it has also evolved into a venue that allows for truly creative, inspirational performers that don't fit into conventional entertainment venues to shine.

It showcases lots of talent, but early elimination rounds sometimes feature acts that border on the ridiculous. But the judges treat everyone equally in their criticism, and everyone -- from the contestants to the audience to the judges (who, for the most part, are friendlier than those on Idol) -- seems to enjoy themselves. It's great fun for the family to enjoy together.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what makes each of us uniquely talented. What would your kids' talent be if they were on the show? Why is it important to cultivate something we're good at?

  • Although no one wants to be a quitter, are there times when something isn't worth pursuing? How can you tell when that is?

  • Why do you think some contestants use their sexuality to appeal to judges and viewers?

TV details

This review of America's Got Talent was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byjmann612 August 30, 2010
age 12+
 
Before you catch “America’s Got Talent” why don’t you tune early and check their sweet new game show “Minute to Win It”? An extra hour of fun? Ummm…count me in! It’s so funny and cool and Guy Fieri is awesome. GO NBC!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 9 years old April 9, 2008
age 0+
 

Love the talents

I love wacthing people do incredible talents except for the people who get the xes (I mean by "ENNNNNNNNNNN' THE RED X?) Sometimes though this tv show may show girls in bikinis girfls dressing modestly then slowly taking off their clothes reavilng them in a bikini so just wacth out for those talents.
Teen, 15 years old Written byilovemaroon5 July 17, 2015
age 11+
 

Very entertaining and fun for the family

This show is so amazing because it allows people from all walks of life to show off talents. The stories of some of the people are so touching and inspiring. It becomes very humorous at most times, the judges (Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel, Howard Stern, Mel B) and host Nick Cannon are a large factor to that. There can be dome language issues or sexual references but overall it's a fun show to watch with the family and can give you that summer time feeling when watching it.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much swearing

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