Among its significant features were that it gave an opportunity to talented amateurs or unknown performers, with the results decided by an audience vote. The format is a popular one and has often been reworked for television in the United States and the United Kingdom.
The current incarnation was created by Simon Cowell, and was originally due to be a 2005 British series called Paul O'Grady's Got Talent but was postponed due to O'Grady's acrimonious split with broadcaster ITV. As such, the American version became the first full series of the Got Talent franchise. Despite being heavily involved in the show's production, Cowell does not appear as a judge. This is due to the conditions of his contract with Fox Network.