6:49am PT by Jordan Zakarin
Howard Stern Returning to 'America's Got Talent'
America's most eclectic talents again will rise and fall on the words of Howard Stern.
The legendary radio host announced on his SiriusXM show Monday morning that he will be returning to NBC's competition America's Got Talent in the summer, giving him a second season on the three-judge panel. He is the first confirmed judge for next season; Sharon Osbourne, at odds with NBC, has said that she won't return, and fellow panelist Howie Mandel has yet to decide whether he wants another go-round.
Stern didn't seem all too concerned with who would be joining him at the judges table.
"If I don't like the new judge, I'll hit the 'X' [buzzer] on the judge while they're talking," Stern told listeners, according to Newsday. "I'll be like, 'Shut up, no one wants to hear from you.' Believe me, if I was the only judge, I think the show would be terrific. You don't need the other judges, but all right. I gotta to learn to play with others."
Stern, known for his frank commentary and relentless self-confidence, replaced CNN host Piers Morgan on the show this past summer, earning a $15 million payday in the process.
“Howard Stern’s towering presence and opinions on last season’s show as a new judge made a dramatic impact and added a sharper edge to the fascinating developments on stage,” NBC president of alternative and late-night programming Paul Telegdy said in a statement.. “We know that Howard believes in America’s Got Talent -- which remains America’s top-rated summer series -- and that dedication comes across in a genuine way to our viewers who share his passion about our amazing talent competition."
While Stern delivered buzz and cache for the summer series, the show still fell in the ratings. NBC insiders have placed the blame on scheduling, both in terms of its premiere (while the regular broadcast season was still in session) and its Olympics hiatus.