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America's Got Talent

TV review by
Lucy Maher, Common Sense Media
America's Got Talent TV Poster Image
Fun-filled, family-friendly reality show.
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 30 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 50 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

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 & Representations

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.


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.


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).


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


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

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byjmann612 August 30, 2010
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!... Continue reading
Adult Written byconcerned Mom55 June 19, 2014

Disgusted with 12 year-old Comedian on AGT

Though I have enjoyed watching America's Got Talent and have witnessed some wonderful and very talented individuals, I was totally disgusted at the 12 year... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old April 9, 2008

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... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byReader00Boy July 22, 2016

Very entertaining

I enjoy it as there are many kinds of people showing many different types of talents. I especially like it when they show the contestants back story to show how... Continue reading

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?

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.

Talk to your kids 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

For kids who love music

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