AGT is using the Southern California lifestyle and scenery to become one of the first big-budget non-scripted shows to resume production after filming six audition episodes before the coronavirus shutdown. "The show shot in the Simi Valley on a huge outdoor movie stage that was created to look like an drive-in movie theater," reports Deadline's Peter White. "The judges, (Simon) Cowell, Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum and Modern Family star Sofia Vergara, turn up in separate cars and sit in socially distanced directors chairs to watch the performers. To smooth the process, NBC has reduced the number of Judge Cuts episodes from four to one, airing on July 28, cutting down the number of acts from 72 to 60, and filling the schedule with a best-of auditions episode on July 21 and a 15th anniversary special on August 4." Cowell says there was a "real buzz of excitement" in returning to work. “I could see the relief on the crews faces that they were back at work and then we turned around the corner to the set we’d built and it was honestly one of the most amazing experiences I can remember for a long time,” he added.