Here's a fact: NBC needs to take a big risk, and it really needs to take one now.
And if that means bringing the self-proclaimed "King of All Media" back into the fold, then maybe the Peacock should consider it.
Reports have surfaced that Howard Stern could replace Piers Morgan as a host of "America's Got Talent." In order to make that happen, however, the show would have to make a big move from Los Angeles to New York so that Stern could continue his regular broadcasts on Sirius XM satellite radio.
Jeff Bercovici, a staff writer for Forbes magazine, thinks hiring Stern would be a mistake. But I disagree. Totally.
"What would NBC be getting for its $25 million?" Bercovici asks. "A star who elicits lukewarm feelings or ill will from an overwhelming majority of people." That's based on data from Marketing Evaluations Inc. Steven Levitt, the president of Marketing Evaluations, described Stern as "one of those people you love to hate."
"He'd fall into the same category as Kim Kardashian or Snooki Polizzi."
That's probably true. But did I miss something? Since when did people stop keeping up with Kim Kardashian, or shoring up with Snooki? Last time I checked, for whatever reasons, the public in general has a fascination with both, so much, they are keeping both quite wealthy -- with far more millions than NBC seems willing to offer Howard Stern.
But there is a difference here. Unlike Kardashian and Snooki, Howard Stern has actual talent. He didn't use his name or some reality show to become big. He did it with hard work, and by recognizing extreme talent potential in others. He would then tap into that talent, and create one of the most popular radio shows in the world.
Does he do things on his radio show that would not be appropriate for most family's dinner tables? Of course. But for anyone to think that he would bring those antics to "America's Got Talent" really doesn't understand how this business works.
Stern is an entertainer, and one that is able to connect with audiences. And it doesn't have to be his audience, but really, any audience.
In the mid-1990s, I couldn't stand Stern. I had no interest in his show, his antics or anything of the sort. I took him solely from his on-air personality, and I thought he was just a dick. But the film "Private Parts" really changed that. I watched it in the late 1990s by accident (I was bored, and there was nothing else on), but I (and anyone who watched the film) discover that there was something really different about Howard Stern.
His goal was to be entertaining, and be real. But he was a real human being, and a real professional.
Howard Stern's rise to the top of the entertainment heap was no accident. It was no fluke. It was years of hard work, and the proper utilization of talent that he inherited and acquired throughout his life.
If there was anyone I would choose to help me find talent, it would be Howard Stern. Not just because he'd be good at it, but because he would entertain me while he did it.
And isn't that what it takes to have a show people will watch?
I think audiences would be pleasantly surprised by Howard Stern. I think he would be a perfect fit for "America's Got Talent." And as long as he doesn't have Paul Giamatti trying to get him to recite "W-ayen-B-C," I think "America's Got Talent" will be a lonely winner for the network when it returns.
(Photo courtesy of the Los Angeles Times)
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