This time around the rumors were true and Howard Stern really is going to become a reality/talent show judge on network television. He announced Thursday morning (12/15) on his Sirius XM show that he has signed a contract to become a judge on “America’s Got Talent” and the news was quickly confirmed by NBC.
“Howard Stern’s larger-than-life personality will bring a thrilling new dynamic to ‘America’s Got Talent’ starting this summer. He’s a proven innovator and his track record in broadcasting is truly remarkable,” said Paul Telegdy, President of Alternative and Late Night Programming for NBC.
Stern will fill the seat vacated by Piers Morgan to focus his full attention on his CNN interview show. Morgan had been the only original cast member remaining on AGT through its first six seasons.
The big change for Season 7 is that the final rounds of competition will take place in New York to accommodate Stern’s satellite radio show schedule, moving from Los Angeles. That apparently was fine with fellow judges Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel, both of whom have been regular guests on Stern’s show. As for AGT host Nick Cannon, he hosts mornings on WXRK-FM New York – which coincidentally was home base for Stern’s pre-Sirius XM syndicated radio show.
“Let the games begin!” Cannon said on his Twitter account after Stern’s addition was announced.
The announcement on AGT’s Facebook page – “Big news! Howard Stern is coming to AGT as a new judge!” – quickly drew over a thousand comments. A random review by RBR-TVBR found the overwhelming majority to be negative.
Auditions for AGT Season 7 have been underway since October, obviously without Stern. The show has made stops in New York, St. Louis, Washington, DC, Anaheim, and Tampa, with Austin, Charlotte and San Francisco yet to go.
RBR-TVBR observation: Having re-read our observation from early November, we may have to reexamine our thinking on the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny.
So this time around Stern wasn’t just playing with the media, of which he claims to be king. How will he do as a talent judge? He’s made his career watching stars and wannabes up close and he has already stated that he will take this seriously because he is serious about show business. Some people will probably refuse to watch AGT with Stern onboard, but the most likely outcome is that the Stern-haters are mostly in older demos and his addition will help NBC draw viewers from the more valuable younger demos.