America’s Got Talent
For years, America’s Got Talent has been a wild, colorful competition on stage with a mixed bag of judges on the floor. This year was the first time the judges’ table showed the right level of empathy and disdain, and a lot of it had to do with the energy Howard Stern brought to the table. AGT brought the show to New York to accommodate Stern, and despite what the PTC might tell you, it was a splendid idea.

Stern’s enthusiasm and the newness of the whole endeavor for the radio personality kept Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel on their toes. Mandel, for the first time, squabbled as if his life depended on it, and the overarching dynamics were fun to watch. It’s unfortunate that Osbourne is trying to leave the show, as she is the secret sauce, keeping the scale balanced and offering her own wisdom. This dynamic helped a non-singer to be crowned in 2012, and if NBC can somehow maintain its lineup, we expect great things in the future.

Honorable Mentions: Top Chef/ Last Chance Kitchen, Duck Dynasty, The Voice

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