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Piers Morgan To Interview Larry King

By | Monday February 21, 2011 @ 11:13am PST
Nellie Andreeva

In a face-off that is bound to feel awkward and uncomfortable, CNN’s Piers Morgan will interview his predecessor Larry King this week. The encounter comes on the heels of King’s statement last week that Morgan “may have been oversold” to American audiences. “He was going to be dangerous. He was going to be water cooler talk,” King told BBC Radio 4. “He’s good. He’s not that dangerous.”

In a statement, Morgan vaguely referenced the controversy. “I can’t think of many people I’d rather interview than Larry King, and I’m sure people will be fascinated by the dynamic between us, for obvious reasons,” he said.

Morgan was far snippier on Twitter. “May have to twang those suspenders to prove how dangerous I really am,” he wrote. And “Hope Larry remembers he has to sit on the right now.”

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Larry King On Piers Morgan: “I Think He May Have Been Oversold”

By | Thursday February 17, 2011 @ 8:00pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

In an interview for BBC Radio 4 in his successor Piers Morgan’s native Britain, former CNN host said Morgan was a “fine” host but may have suffered from overhyping. “I think one of the problems (CNN) did was over sell it. He was going to be dangerous, he was going to be water cooler talk,” King said. “He’s good but not that dangerous. I think they might have been better off starting quietly and that’s not Piers’ fault, or maybe it is, I’m not inside anymore. He’s certainly not bad. He’s certainly an acceptable host. He asks good questions, maybe he interrupts a little too much at times. I think he may have been oversold.”

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CNN To Post Lowest Rated Year In 2010

Nellie Andreeva

The pressure on CNN’s new primetime anchor Piers Morgan to deliver ratings can’t be bigger – according to preliminary Nielsen estimates, 2010 will mark CNN’s lowest rated year since at least 1997 in total viewers and the target demographic of adults 25-54 after the beleaguered news network posted steep double-digit year-to-year declines. More bad news for new CNN chief Ken Jautz: In 2010, MSNBC will beat CNN in primetime for the first time ever in total viewers and for the second consecutive year in adults 25-54. (MSNBC will also log its first ever demo victory over CNN in total day.) Overall, Fox News Channel was once again head and shoulders above the cable news competition, drawing more viewers than its three competitors, CNN, MSNBC and HLN, combined. With its established programs sliding and new shows, most recently Parker Spitzer, fizzling, CNN posted the sharpest ratings declines, down 34% in prime time from 2009. Its sibling network HLN was also deep in the double-digit drop area while Fox News and MSNBC posted modest single-digit declines. Here are the numbers:

Nielsen Media Research (Live+SD)

P2+

P25-54Read More »

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CNN’s Piers Morgan Vows Format And Other Changes To Beat Fox News Competition: Promises “I’m Going To Be There To Win” And “It’s Time To Kick Some Ratings Butt”

EXCLUSIVE: Piers Morgan tells us that he’s planning big changes to the Larry King Live interview slot he inherits in January. “The format, everything, will change. I’m not just going to be another man sitting in the CNN studio wearing red braces.” Morgan also promises he’ll beat his Fox News rivals (see below) — but not if he expects to do that with overexposed guests like Simon Cowell and Donald Trump or what he says is his top “get”, President Obama. The production team needs to be finalised before guests are signed, he says. Morgan tells us he hasn’t locked down his show’s executive producer yet, “though we are about to. What I would say is that there will be significant format changes, and the show will look and feel different and distinctive to Larry’s. I don’t want to copy him because he’s a legend. You don’t follow Sinatra at the Sands and try and warble My Way…”

The show will be mostly filmed in New York apart from 3 months in the summer when Morgan is in Los Angeles judging America’s Got Talent. He notes,One key change will definitely be that I will pre-tape many of the interviews so I can market and promote them in advance of them airing, which I believe will increase ratings. I’ve done this very successfully with my Life Stories series in the UK, with subjects as diverse as Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Simon Cowell, and Richard Branson.”

Morgan also tells us his mission is to help boost CNN’s sagging primetime line-up against Fox News, MSNBC, and other rivals. Larry King Live scored its lowest monthly viewer total in nearly 20 years in May, averaging just 653,000 viewers each night. And, last week, CNN underwent a management shakeup. CNN overall is a ratings mess right now and getting its clock cleaned by Fox News. So the older cable news channel brought in the guy who talent-scouted Glenn Beck, Nancy Grace, and Joy Behar to fix it, HLN’s Ken Jautz. The TV world has changed since Larry King first began interviewing 25 years ago, says Morgan, noting that back then there wasn’t any Fox News or even MSNBC. Since then, there’s been an explosion in cable TV with rapid-fire hosts like Glenn Beck who don’t do long interviews with newsmakers. “Don’t get me wrong, they’re great at what they do,” says Morgan. “But I think there’s a gap in the market. For years, Larry King has shown the power of the extended interview, which is something I’ve specialised in with my British talk shows. When it comes to my rivals, however long it takes, I’m going to be there to win.” Morgan says, “The main message I want to communicate is that I intend this show to be a game-changer in terms of how interview shows are conducted on American TV. And I haven’t joined CNN to come 2nd, 3rd, or 4th.

America’s Got Talent has been the No. 1 show for five years, Britain’s Got Talent has been No. 1 in the UK for four years, Life Stories is the No. 1 talk show in the UK, and I won Celebrity Apprentice. Losing is not really something I’ve either experienced on TV, or wish to experience. A character trait hardened by my time working for the likes of Rupert Murdoch and Simon Cowell. It will take time, but we’ll get there.” Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Talent’, ‘Wipeout’ Up

Nellie Andreeva

Just as CNN announced his new show on the cable network, Piers Morgan’s old one, America’s Got Talent, hit an eight-week high among adults 18-49. The NBC talent show (3.2 rating/9 share in 18-49, 12.3 million viewers overall) was the top program last night, lifting the network to the top spot in the demo and total viewers. Its lead-in, Minute to Win It (1.7/5) was flat with last week. ABC’s Wipeout (2.7/9) at 8 PM was also up week-to-week, 13%, with the only other original offering last night, the summer finale of ABC’s Nightline Prime: Secrets of Your Mind logging a 1.1/3 at 10 PM.

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