ABC has just inked a deal with the shaggy-haired shock jock to do a prime-time interview special this spring, The Post has learned
The one-time, hour-long program is seen as a test run - and more shows could follow.
The move will propel the King of All Media into the same elite category as ABC's other top interview talent, including Barbara Walters and Diane Sawyer.
Sources say Stern already has a long list of possible guests to grill in his controversial sex-charged style that usually includes embarrassing questions about threesomes, penis size, lesbian experiences and bathroom habits.
"There's probably no better interviewer than Howard Stern, and ABC knows this," a source told The Post.
Whether Stern, who just turned 50, will be able to get away with the often stunningly foul queries he makes on his nationally syndicated radio show remains to be seen.
But with ABC in the ratings toilet, chances are network brass may be willing to go out on the limb and give Stern editorial control.
Meanwhile, Stern's new gig with ABC is bound to ruffle the feathers of many of the network's big names, including Star Jones (search) of "The View," who has been attacked mercilessly about her weight by the raunchy radio gabber.
"You can bet Howard will shake up the format of the TV interview," a Stern associate gloated last night. "Don't be surprised that after his show gets huge ratings, Barbara Walters is suddenly asking her guests about their penis size."
Walters and Jones could not be reached for comment last night.
What Stern is being paid for his show was not known last night. His agent did not return calls.
ABC is the second network which Stern works with. He's also producing a pilot for the WB with comedian Robert Schimmel (search) about the funnyman's true-life experience of falling in love with his daughter's best friend after winning his battle with cancer three years ago.
Intriguingly, CBS - which is associated through parent company Viacom with Stern's radio show - is conspicuously absent from any of Stern's TV plans.
Media onlookers see that as Stern's slap at CBS chief Les Moonves, with whom he's had a longstanding feud.
Moonves had no comment, but a CBS spokesman noted that a number of the network's stars made occasional deals with competitors.
"We wish Howard success with his new project," said the spokesman.