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TV Column
Posted at 06:06 PM ET, 12/03/2012

Yes, Howard Stern will be back on ‘America's Got Talent’


Howard Stern (Michael Loccisano - GETTY IMAGES)

To the surprise of…well, practically nobody, NBC announced Monday Uncle Howard will be back on “America’s Got Talent” next season.

Actually, Howard Stern broke the news on his Sirius radio show Monday morning.

“Here’s my reasons for going back,” Uncle Howard told his listeners.

“This is the only show that has this kind of clout for what I would say is ‘non-singers’.”

“I just find it so refreshing that… people can get this type of exposure, who have shot stardom... I feel my work is unfinished there,” he said.

“I felt I could not walk away,” he also said — not surprising, given that he joined the show last summer, for a reported $20 million salary.

The network announced with great fanfare they’d hired Stern to replace Piers Morgan on the show — even moved the production from Los Angeles to New York for Stern’s sake.

With Stern in the spotlight, “AGT” opened with about 4.5 million fewer viewers than previous summer.

Similarly, Simon Cowell, who exec produces both “AGT” and Fox’s singing competition “The X Factor” coughed up a reported $15 million to snag Britney Spears for the “X” judge panel in hopes of goosing that show’s disappointing ratings. With Britbrit added to the show, ratings are down about 20 percent year to year.

This does not bode well for the $18 million the producers of Fox’s “American Idol” spent on Mariah Carey in hopes her presence will goose that show’s sagging ratings.

“I’m ready to come back…and I’m going to be more straightforward and more direct than I was the first season,” Stern promised fans Monday morning. Wait — didn’t he promise he would be totally straightforward and direct last season?

By  |  06:06 PM ET, 12/03/2012

 
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