The world did not end when Howard Stern became a judge on NBC's "America's Got Talent," and barring the fulfillment of the Mayan prophecy that we're all checking out of here on Dec. 21, he'll be back at the judges' table again next summer.

So says NBC, which announced Stern's return Monday morning, saying he'd "continue to provide his observations on the colorful array of hopeful future stars that are currently auditioning in major cities around the country for the show's upcoming eighth season."

Which basically sums up why the network's bothering to announce Stern's return: Auditions have already started and he wasn't yet onboard, leading to speculation that he might be a one-season wonder.

Now that we know that won't be the case, the Parents Television Council can resume its regularly scheduled tantrum.

And I'll continue to hope that eventually one of these talent shows will produce someone we'll talk about more than we talk about the comings and goings of their judges.