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Sharon Osbourne announced on Tuesday that she's ready to bid farewell to her judging gig on America's Got Talent -- news that has come as a shock to fans as well as the show's network, NBC.
In a Twitter post directed at her fellow judge, "my darling" Howard Stern Tuesday, Osbourne, 59, said that "money is not the reason I'm not returning" to the show. Then she posted, "it's because . . .," but didn't finish her comment.
Osbourne did not elaborate or clarify her comments. NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt told a meeting of the Television Critics Association on Tuesday that the message was completely unexpected.
"This is coming out of context and sort of spontaneously, and we don't even know what's going on. And it's probably much ado about nothing," Greenblatt said, declining to answer any questions about the subject.
A source familiar with the production said that Osbourne, who has been a judge on the series since 2007, has a multi-year contract with the show.
The talk-show host even stuck with the series when it moved production from Los Angeles to New York in order to accommodate Stern this seventh season. Howie Mandel is the third judge on the panel.
One possible explanation for the Twitter comment is a Monday post on Stern's radio show Twitter account announcing that the shock jock "isn't sure if he'll do another season and says Sharon Osbourne may not come back unless she gets more money."
If Osbourne indeed meant her post as an announcement that she's leaving, who do you think would make a good replacement?