LOS ANGELES (NBC) — The new season of “America’s Got Talent” gets underway Tuesday, and there’s a new judge in the mix.

The “minister of mean” from “American Idol”, Simon Cowell, joins the panel.

He’s called the shots on the show from behind the scenes for a decade, but now he’s out in front.

Cowell says he didn’t have any hesitation about jumping into the fray.

“I knew I was going to have a lot of fun on it because I knew all of the guys anyway,” he says.

“Fun” is not Cowell’s reputation, yet “fun” is how the AGT panel describes working with him.

“I feel like it’s lighter,” says fellow judge Heidi Klum. “I feel like we laugh more. We joke around more.”

That doesn’t mean things will be too different.

“Look, you’re still going to be honest, where you need to be honest and say it’s not going to work out or you weren’t very good,” Cowell says.

“America’s Got Talent” premieres Tuesday at 8 p.m. on 7NBC.

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