NBC’s America’s Got Talent premiered lower in the ratings this year despite the high-profile addition of Howard Stern as the show’s new judge.
Monday’s two-hour Got Talent returned to 10.3 million viewers and a 3.6 rating, down 16 percent from last year. EW’s Ken Tucker suggested Stern’s performance was almost too nice.
Before everybody points fingers at Stern, however, here’s a big mitigating factor: Last year Got Talent premiered at the very end of May and was paired with The Voice. This year, Got Talent faced a full boat of competition from rival networks, so the talent competition might have returned lower in the ratings due to the scheduling change. NBC points out last night’s rating matches Got Talent‘s performance two years ago. At 10 p.m., NBC’s Smash (6.1 million, 1.8) finale was steady.
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