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Upon Further Review, No, Howard Stern Did Not Kill America's Got Talent

AMERICA'S GOT TALENT,  Howard Stern, Nick Cannon, Sharon Osbourne, Howie Mandel Virginia Sherwood/NBC

Weeks after Howard Stern's debut as a judge on America's Got Talent coincided with franchise-low TV ratings, the show turned it around Tuesday.

And it looks less likely than ever that Stern was ever responsible for the trouble.

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Tuesday's show, highlighted, so to speak, by the St. Louis audition of Little Ozzy, averaged an estimated 11.3 million viewers.

The number was a season high, and more in line with those of past season premieres than May 14's.

Most key, Tuesday's air date also was more in line with those of past season premieres.

America's Got Talent's current season is the only one to launch prior to Memorial Day, and amid the season finales of CBS' Monday comedies, Dancing With the Stars and American Idol

Opposite the regular-season competition, Talent remained a Top 10 show, but struggled to match its past success.

On its own in the summer, Talent's Tuesday audience shot up by more than 2 million viewers from last week's, and more than 1 milion viewers from Monday, when the show aired on the holiday.

So, no, Stern, a critical favorite, probably was never the problem,and, yes, the London Olympics,which likely necessitated the early season premiere, was.

Here's a rundown of the past TV week's most-watched shows, per the just-released Nielsen Media Research stats:

  1. American Idol (Wednesday), 21.5 million viewers
  2. Dancing With the Stars (9 p.m., Tuesday), 17.8 million viewers
  3. Dancing With the Stars (Monday), 16.8 million viewers
  4. American Idol (Tuesday), 14.8 million viewers
  5. Modern Family, 10 million viewers
  6. America's Got Talent (Monday), 9.7 million viewers
  7. America's Got Talent (Tuesday), 9.4 million viewers
  8. NCIS (rerun), 9.3 million viewers
  9. NCIS (rerun), 9.2 million viewers
  10. Dancing With the Stars (8 p.m, Tuesday), 8.8 million viewers

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