NBC entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt said the network was taken by surprise when Sharon Osbourne said on Twitter that she's not returning to the show next season — and that he doesn't want her to leave.
"I don't know that she's not returning," he told TheWrap at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. "I don't really have anything conclusive to say. … I haven't spoken to her or her agents so I'm not sure really where it's coming from. It took us all by surprise."
He later added from the TCA podium that he thought the Osbourne news was probably "much ado about nothing."
Asked if NBC wanted Osbourne back, he told TheWrap: "Absolutely. We love Sharon."
And with that she trailed off.
Earlier Tuesday, NBC president of alternative and late-night programming Paul Telegdy said at TCA that he was pleased with "AGT" and that Stern was welcome to return.
"We'd be delighted if Howard wants to come back," he said.
Osbourne, the show's longest-serving judge, joined in its second season in 2007. This season, she serves on the panel with Howie Mandel as well as Stern.