Simon Cowell is said to be in recovery mode following an unfortunate biking accident on Saturday. According to Deadline, Cowell was hospitalized after an accident on his electric bike left him with a back injury. The America's Got Talent judge reportedly had to undergo surgery following this incident.
A representative for Cowell told PEOPLE that he broke his back during this accident. He reportedly underwent surgery on Saturday evening. The same rep told the outlet that the incident occurred at Cowell's Malibu home on Saturday afternoon. "Simon had a fall from his bike on Saturday afternoon whilst testing his new electric bike in the courtyard at his house in Malibu with his family," they said. "He hurt his back and was taken to the hospital. He's doing fine, he's under observation and is in the best possible hands."
Deadline reportedly reached out to both NBC and Fremantle for comment on how this incident will impact Cowell's America's Got Talent duties. The first live show for the competition is set to air on Aug. 11, and it's unclear how Cowell's injury will affect the episode's production. The show does have some experience with producing shows without one of the judges on their panel. Earlier in the season, judge Heidi Klum was forced to miss several shows due to an illness. For some of those episodes, Modern Family actor Eric Stonestreet stood in for her. But, for a few of the other segments of the show, they forged ahead with a three-person judging panel of Cowell, Sofia Vergara, and Howie Mandel. So, it's entirely possible that America's Got Talent could continue with its live shows without Cowell on the panel.
Prior to America's Got Talent's upcoming live show, the series had to navigate the challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic. For instance, the Judges' Cut episode, which is typically filmed in front of a studio audience, was shot in a drive-in movie theater to allow the cast and crew to maintain social distancing guidelines. Cowell himself previously opened up about having to get creative for these episodes, telling USA Today, "As bad as it is, you always have to find a solution to get back to work. I have sympathy for so many people in this situation, but if our show is an example, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It's different, but hopefully, it will still be as popular."