Howard Stern on 'America's Got Talent' gig: 'I take it seriously' - See video
Shortly after Howard Stern was named as a replacement judge for Piers Morgan on NBC's reality series "America's Got Talent" on December 15, the television watchdog group the Parents Television Council released a statement saying they were not pleased with the choice by the network.
"The once-proud broadcast network has lost its way and has made it clear it holds no concern whatsoever for children and families," PTC president Tim Winter told OnTheRedCarpet.com in a statement. "It also risks losing millions in advertising dollars. Whatever principles NBC had in the past, when the network was successful, have clearly gone out the window."
Stern later defended himself on "Piers Morgan Tonight" against criticism by the PTC and to assure other critics that he was not going to be on the show for jokes.
"I guess they get their printer out and they make a letterhead and they start to complain that I'm some sort of weird pervert who is going to convert Americans into some kind of zombie sex fiends," Stern told Morgan about the PTC in the interview, which can be seen below.
"I can assure you and the rest of America is what I'm looking at here is to be a very good judge," Stern said. "I take it seriously. You know I watch the show. I love this type of television."
"Whatever you think of me, I will give you an honest opinion," he added. "My goal is to find real talent, to actually find someone who can become a major superstar."
Stern said on his radio show, known for its explicit content and interviews with both mainstream celebrities and porn stars, that he plans to be "Piers on steroids" on "America's Got Talent."
NBC's president of Alternative and Late Night Programming, Paul Telegdy, said Stern's "larger-than-life personality will bring a thrilling new dynamic to 'America's Got Talent' starting this summer" and called him "a proven innovator."
Morgan had in November that he was leaving the show to focus on his CNN talk series. The British former newspaper editor was known as the most acerbic judge on "America's Got Talent." Stern has often said on his show about how much he enjoys watching talent contest programs, especially "American Idol."
The shock jock, who is one of the best-paid radio personalities and who calls himself the "King of all Media," was rumored to be in talks to join "America's Got Talent" for weeks but until now had said on his show, when asked about it, that he had nothing to report. He has not disclosed his salary, adding on Thursday that he did not accept the job for the money.
A previous 5-year agreement Stern once had with Sirius XM is said to have been worth $500 million. Last year, Stern signed a new 5-year deal with the company, which agreed to continue to broadcast his show and other programs on his Howard 100 and Howard 101 channels until the end of 2015.
His new job on "America's Got Talent" also marks Stern's return to NBC since he was fired from its radio station WNBC in 1985. The network said his former program, which was similar to that of his current show, was indecent and slammed him for using expletives on the air, which cost about $2.5 million in Federal Communications Commission fines.
In 2005, he moved his show to satellite radio, where he is less censored. Moments from his career and beef with the FCC and his then-boss were showcased in the 1997 comedy film "Private Parts".
Check out Stern's interview with Piers Morgan below.