Despite its high-profile addition of radio personality Howard Stern as the show’s new judge, NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” premier on Monday received a rating of 3.6, down 16 percent from last year, according to Entertainment Weekly.
The two-hour programming returned to 10.3 million viewers at 8 p.m. EDT in its seventh season, vying for viewers against CBS’s marathon of season finales, starting with an extended one-hour “How I met Your Mother” (8.5 million, 3.6) and two-hour finale of “Two and a Half Men” (11.3 million, 3.8). Its “Mike and Molly” (3.3) and “Hawaii Five-0” (2.7) also saw gains. The addition of Stern has stirred controversy for his profanity and sex talks. Watchdog group Parents Television Council has sent a letter to 91 companies that have purchased commercial space during “America’s Got Talent” in the past to advise them against advertising with the show again due to Stern’s “reputation for sleaze and misogyny.”
NBC was not alone in launching a summer reality show to lower ratings on Monday evening. ABC’s “The Bachelorette” (8.3 million, 2.5) came back to 11 percent lower ratings than last year.