Howard Stern returning to America’s Got Talent

Howard Stern will return as a judge to NBC’s summer competition series America’s Got Talent, making him the only judge to be confirmed to be returning. Sharon Osbourne quit the show over NBC’s treatment of her son, Jack, and Howie Mandel may or may not return.

Howard announced that he signed on for a second season this morning on his show and NBC confirmed it in a press release. “I’m very, very excited, honestly, about going back to ‘America’s Got Talent. I’m very excited to be working again with [executive producer] Simon Cowell and NBC and all the various folks who work there,” he said, according to Newsday. He promised to give Sharon’s replacement a hard time if that person is bad at judging: “If I don’t like the new judge, I’ll hit the ‘X’ [buzzer] on the judge while they’re talking. 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.”

While Howard was a strong judge, it does not matter that he’s returning, because his presence had no impact on the show, which remains a virtually unwatchable mess–though a very popular mess.

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.