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NBC Announces: America’s Got Howard Stern

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Your chances of winning the next edition of America’s Got Talent for butt bongo just got better. As had been reported and speculated for a while now, NBC has officially announced Howard Stern as the newest celebrity judge on AGT, replacing the overcommitted CNN host Piers Morgan.

Well, that’s something I’ll watch at least once, which I have to imagine is the reaction NBC was going for. Stern is a natural broadcaster, an attention magnet and suited to pushing all the buttons that reality TV shows rely on to get buzz. I would have to suspect he would be, and NBC is counting on him to be, a watercooler-quote machine.

That said, I’ll have to see whether this combination can work in a way that satisfies NBC yet lets Howard be Howard. By this I don’t mean “Is he ready for primetime?” and its content standards; Stern is a professional, he knows what primetime TV is, and if he signed up at this stage in his career to work for NBC, I don’t think he plans to Baba Booey them on some grand scale.

I’m wondering more how the no-BS Stern persona fits in with what is, after all, a grandly corny and ridiculous show. I mean, I expect Howard will be “irreverent” and that NBC expects him to be, but when it comes down to it, he’ll be on the team. How will Howard Stern handle doing whatever next season’s equivalent of the Smurfs Movie product placement is, without seeming like a phony?

Then again, I will freely admit that I have followed Stern far less since he’s gone on to satellite; for all I know, the Howard Stern of today truly, deeply and unironically loves America’s Got Talent. So as I said, I’ll see. Meanwhile, how do the more regular Howard Stern listeners in Tuned Inland think this marriage will work?

Below, an excerpt from NBC’s announcement:


Series Finds a New Home as Production of the Live Shows Moves to New York

Auditions for Season Seven Continue Around the Country

UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. – December 15, 2011 – NBC announced today that Howard Stern, American radio personality, television host and author, will serve as the new judge on the top-rated summer alternative series “America’s Got Talent,” produced by FremantleMedia North America and Simon Cowell’s SYCO Television.

Stern will provide his feedback on the colorful array of hopeful future stars who are currently auditioning in major cities around the country for the show’s upcoming seventh season.

Production of the live shows of “America’s Got Talent” also will be moving to New York, where Stern will continue to helm his SiriusXM radio program.