The rumors turned out to be true. Howard Stern announced on his Sirius/XM radio program today that he has been signed as the new judge on NBC’s reality competition series America’s Got Talent.
Stern replaces the departing Piers Morgan, joining Sharon Osborne and Howie Mandel. The show begins shooting new episodes in February. Producers were so eager to sign Stern that the show’s production has been moved from Los Angeles to New York to accommodate Stern so he can continue his New York-based radio show.
Howard Stern replaces Piers Morgan (left) on America’s Got Talent, joining judges Sharon Osborne and Howie Mandel. NBC Universal.
Stern’s fellow judges are thrilled. Osborne joined Stern on his show this morning to welcome him to the show. Mandel has said for weeks he hoped Stern would join the show, and told TMZ.com this morning “I couldn’t be happier. As my Mom always says, you can never have enough Howies.” Host Nick Cannon tweeted about the rumor when it first broke, and today tweeted “let the games begin!” to Stern.
Cue the outrage and let the hand wringing commence.
When the rumor first surfaced, the Parents Television Council (PTC), which says it is a “non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment” came out against Stern joining the program, questioning whether he should be part of a program watched by families. The PTC will no doubt be displeased and watching Stern’s every move on the show, filing complaints with the FCC the millisecond he pushes their boundaries of sex, violence, or profanity. Apparently the PTC didn’t care about the nudity, profanity, or violence on America’s Got Talent by the acts themselves.
Stern isn’t going to misbehave to the point of ruining this opportunity. Although he’s still a big draw on satellite radio, he doesn’t command the audience of his glory days. Stern has professed his desire to be a reality competition show judge for several years. Two years ago he said he wanted to be a judge on American Idol. He says he’s going to take judging seriously and not let any silly acts through. (What, no more Funny Little People? Dang).