Howard Stern will hold a press conference Wednesday to announce a deal with CBS that will put the radio jock on the tube in direct competition with Saturday Night Live.
The new program will air starting in August on CBS-owned affiliates, and later be offered to other stations through the network's Eyemark Entertainment, if it performs well.
So, what's the program going to be like? A good question. CBS and Stern aren't commenting yet, but there's been speculation that it would be similar to Stern's E! cable show. (Howard has a long-term contract with E! that shouldn't be affected by the CBS gig. Die-hard fans will get six nights of Stern a week.)
Daily Variety, meanwhile, quotes sources saying it'll be "a mix of celeb guests, scripted comedy bits and other Stern-style shenanigans."
Sources also tell Variety that negotiations for the deal took a difficult several months so the parties could hammer out the specifics of the syndication deal--which would put the show on the affiliates CBS doesn't own.
This isn't the first time Howard has taken on NBC's Saturday night institution. Stern launched a syndicated TV show back in 1990 that frequently whipped SNL in New York and other major markets. But his antics scared off smaller market stations, and the show eventually died in 1992.
The math favors the King of All Media this time out. According to a recent radio industry survey, Stern yaks to 17.5 million subjects per week. If the majority of those fans tunes into CBS, then Howard will have no trouble topping the 9.2 million people SNL pulls in, or the 4.5 million eyeballs the other Saturday night competition, Fox's Mad TV, attracts.