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Watch Out 'SNL' - Stern's Show Getting Major Revamp

By John Mainelli

Howard Stern's struggling TV show, which recently got a new executive producer, debuted the first phase of a major revamp this past Saturday night.

"It's a whole new, faster-paced format," said Stern on his radio show (K-Rock/92.3 FM) about the CBS program he vowed would turn the competition into "Saturday Night Dead."

It hasn't.

"This week, we'll have Dennis Rodman's crying press conference, [comedian] Pat Cooper going berserk, Gary the Retard's lap dance at Scores, girls too hot to walk down the street, and Joe Frasier falling down backstage," promised Stern last week.

"You'll also see 'When O.J. attacks,' Benjie wrestling in his underwear, Stuttering John's interviews, a Babbabooey animation, midget-tossing, and a dirty Jokeman cartoon."

This marks a major change in the structure of Stern's syndicated Saturday night TV show, which lost about a dozen affiliates since its launch late last summer because of raunchy content and so-so ratings.

Three weeks ago, Stern quietly replaced the TV show's original executive producer, Jim Biederman, with Scott Einziger, who produces the Stern show that airs the other six nights of the week on cable's E! channel.

The new TV format may remind many Stern fans of the original, multi-segment show broadcast on WWOR-TV (Ch.9) almost 10 years ago.

While the program drew respectable ratings and topped 'SNL' in New York, the station reportedly had a hard time attracting advertisers.

Its current incarnation hasn't been the easiest of sells for WCBS-TV (Ch2) either. Last weekend's show contained a number of unsold commercial positions occupied by promotions for 'Hollywood Squares' on
Ch.2.

The broadcast featured a variation of the radio show's 'Strip Homeless Game' in which Stern and his sidekicks tried to guess which aspiring Playboy playmates would answer extremely basic civics questions like, "Who was George Bush?"

Many failed.

Source: New York Post


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