File this one under d’uh: Deadline Hollywood reports that the Parents Television Council has called on advertisers to jump ship from NBC’s America’s Got Talent now that Howard Stern is replacing Piers Morgan as the show’s third judge (alongside Howie Mandel and Sharon Osborne). “Stern’s reputation for sleaze and misogyny is well known; and to our knowledge his only previous judging experience consisted of looking at insecure, naked young women and telling them whether or not they were hot enough to pose for Playboy,” the Council wrote in their letter to dozens of potential advertisers.
The Council has been up in arms since the announcement was made in December—and his co-hosts have already told the press that Stern won’t be judging with his shock-jock persona—but with Talent’s May 14 premiere approaching, they’re stepping up the attack. Even though Stern has yet to appear on the show, it’s not a surprising clash. He’s one of the guys the PTC loves to hate, and he’s retaliated too; in 1999, Stern persuaded Shirley Jones to resign from her position as honorary co-chair of the group.
With this latest conflict, America’s Got Talent joins an illustrious list of other recent Parents Television Council targets, including I Just Want My Pants Back, the Superbowl, Glee, Family Guy, GCB, The X Factor…and pretty much every other show on television. That’s one reason the Council might be particularly worried. By their standards, singing competitions are among the few network shows that regularly receive tepid okays from the group, even though they may still be “inappropriate for youngsters.” (Who knows? We may see the new Brian McKnight single on an upcoming audition.)
Here’s a tip for any truly concerned advertisers out there: the Council whole-heartedly approves of exactly one show on the current prime-time line-up. It’s NBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? — better get on the phone before their ad time sells out.