Howard Stern is officially returning to America’s Got Talent for his third season. On Tuesday, Howard announced the exciting news while also announcing that the upcoming ninth season of NBC’s hit series will be his last.
“It started out as a goof. Now it’s becoming a job,” Howard said on his SiriusXM radio show, according to a November 20th report by PEOPLE Magazine. “I am very excited to be going back to America’s Got Talent. I will go back [for] one more season.”
“I really, really did struggle with this decision because … I’ve been working a long time,” he said. “I really wanted to decide if this was going to take away too much … free time. Did I really still enjoy doing it? Did I have something to say? Is it something I should be involved with still? I decided I needed a personal life, but that big black hole in me that demands attention … it won.”
As for who would be joining him on the judges panel, Howard stated, at the time, that he assumed Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel, and Melanie Brown would be returning as well, but couldn’t confirm the news. “[They are] lovely people, and if they want to come back, God bless them,” he said.
Then, the very next day, host Nick Cannon announced on Twitter that the cast of season 8 would all be returning for season 9. “The gang’s all here! Get ready for @NBCAGT Season 9 @howiemandel @heidiklum, @howardstern and @OfficialMelB #AGT,” he said.
Howard was first announced for the series in December of 2011, ahead of the show’s seventh season, by NBC exec Paul Telegdy who explained, “Howard Stern’s larger-than-life personality will bring a thrilling new dynamic to America’s Got Talent starting this summer. 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.”
Prior to the announcement, Howard had discussed the issue with press, saying that he would be a great addition to the show. “I would be an excellent judge,” he said at the time. “After all, I’ve had a 35 year career. I’ve made stars out of people like Ronnie the Limo Driver and Eric the Midget. I would be good because I would mentor and show people the way.”
Producers auditions began in Miami last month. No word yet on when the cast will get started filming.
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