Howard Stern is going prime-time.
The hugely popular radio morning man will join NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” next season as part of an overhaul of the show that will include moving it to New York.
Stern has been talking about taking the job since CNN host Piers Morgan said he would leave the show
“I take judging very seriously,” Stern told his SiriusXM Satellite Radio listeners Thursday morning.
He said he was signing the contract on the air as he talked.
NBC followed with the official announcement.
“Howard Stern’s larger-than-life personality will bring a thrilling new dynamic to ‘America’s Got Talent’ starting this summer,” said Paul Telegdy, president of alternative and late-night programming at NBC. “He’s a proven innovator and his track record in broadcasting is truly remarkable. Howard is very passionate about this show and is fully committed to its future success.”
The show, which has been Los Angeles-based since its inception, will move to New York to accommodate Stern’s arrival.
He also will continue to host his radio show.
Stern, a pop-culture aficionado, has long had a good relationship with “America’s Got Talent” executive producer Simon Cowell. He told listeners his wife, Beth, told him he’d be a brilliant judge, too.
He’s also talked extensively over the years about wanting to be a judge on either “America’s Got Talent” or “American Idol.”
It’s also a return to the company that fired him earlier in his career. Stern noted on the air that all those folks were gone now, and it is a new era at NBC.
Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel are the other judges on the competition show, which features acts with a variety of skills from singing to plate twirling. Nick Cannon is the host.
“America’s Got Talent” was the top-rated nonsports series on NBC, ABC or CBS during the summer. Indeed, last summer was its best run ever.
Getting Stern into the mix immediately adds an extra level of buzz for the series.
Stern likely will use his radio show to talk about “America’s Got Talent.” Likewise, his appearance on the show alone is expected to draw new viewers to the series. Indeed, he said on Sirius he could get his listeners to show up.
When Morgan announced he was leaving the show, Stern immediately began talking about wanting the job. The watchdog group Parents Television Council quickly said his hire would be bad for humanity. No doubt that drumbeat will continue, helping pull even more viewers to the show.
No shock, by lunchtime Thursday the PTC was accusing NBC of “desperation and having lost its way. The group labeled Stern “a performer who is synonymous with shock, profanity and obscenity.”
While it’s true that on radio, Stern delivers a funny, biting and often racy view on pop culture
the PTC did not mention that NBC must conform to broadcast network standards, has an active standards and practices department, and that Stern has proven repeatedly he can play under the guidelines of the medium.