'America's Got Talent': Sofia Vergara Joins Heidi Klum as Season 16 Judges Amid Gabrielle Union Controversy

Modern Family star Sofia Vergara has quickly found her next gig. The Emmy-nominated actress will join the returning Heidi Klum for the next season of America's Got Talent. The two replace Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough, who only lasted a season before their controversial exits.

Aside from Klum and Vegara, Simon Cowell and Howie Mandel will return as judges. Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Terry Crews will host once again.

"I'm so excited to be back at AGT with Simon, Howie and Terry," Klum said in a statement. "The fact that Sofia Vergara is joining us is the icing on an already delicious cake."

"Sofia's infectious energy and sharp wit will blend perfectly with returning favorites Heidi, Simon, Howie, and Terry," Meredith Ahr, President, Alternative & Reality Group, NBC Entertainment, added. "As both a respected actress and successful entrepreneur, she embodies the American dream that is synonymous with AGT's transformative stage."

"As we head into our milestone 15th season, we are excited to welcome Sofia to the AGT family," Trish Kinane, President of Entertainment Programming, Fremantle, added. "We are also delighted at the return of the amazing Heidi Klum and look forward to a lot of fun as these dynamic, accomplished women join Simon, Howie and host Terry Crews to inspire contestants in a fun-filled and unpredictable series."

Vergara's hiring is not a complete surprise. Back in December 2019, TMZ reported she met with AGT producers about joining the series.

Vergara is best known for playing Gloria Delgado-Pritchett on ABC's Modern Family, which ends after 11 seasons on April 8. She earned Emmy nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series every year from 2010 to 2013. She also picked up four Golden Globe nominations from 2011 to 2014.

Klum and Vergara are coming to the show after NBC's controversial decision to not bring back Hough and Union for Season 16. While Hough never went into details about her reason for coming back, Union said she left after she criticized the "toxic" work environment behind the scenes. In December, she had a five-hour meeting with NBC, which launched an investigation into her allegations.

"We had a lengthy 5-hour, and what I thought to be, productive meeting yesterday," Union tweeted on Dec. 4. "I was able to, again, express my unfiltered truth. I led with transparency and my desire and hope for real change."


America's Got Talent will be back in the summer.

Photo credit: Walter Chin/NBC