Howard Stern is joining Barbara Walters and Diane Sawyer in the ranks of ABC Television's interviewers. The King of All Media revealed on his show this morning that he's agreed to host an interview special this spring for the network. ABC will give Stern's drawing power a test drive during a one-time, one-hour primetime show on a yet-to-be-determined date, with the possibility of more specials being scheduled.
"There’s room enough for me and Barbara at the network," Stern said this morning, saying ABC approached him to do a Barbara Walters-type show.
Could the one-off deal lead to Stern hosting more interview specials for ABC? "If it goes well, and Howard wants to do more and [ABC] wants to do more, then we'd have discussions," Stern agent Don Buchwald told FMQB.
Buchwald said interview subjects could run the gamut from entertainers to politicians. Fantasizing about possible guests this morning, Stern said: "On my new ABC-TV show, I would love to interview Rush Limbaugh. Wouldn’t that be so phenomenal?... Tonight, I’ll take you into the home of Rush Limbaugh…. Elephants don’t take this much Oxycontin… And later, we’ll go into the house of the gynecologist for Britney Spears."
"You can bet Howard will shake up the format of the TV interview," an unidentified Stern associate told the NY Post. "Don't be surprised that after his show gets huge ratings, Barbara Walters is suddenly asking her guests about their penis size."
Entertainment Tonight reporter (and former K-Rock/NYC deejay) Booker called in to question Stern about his new program. During the inquiry, Booker asked if Stern was doing this to prepare for an eventual departure from radio. Stern's response:"I’m not tired of radio."
Stern now has network television deals in place with ABC and the WB, for whom he's producing a pilot with comedian Robert Schimmel that centers around the comic's successful battle with cancer and falling in love with his daughter's best friend.