CNN will kill the ailing Piers Morgan Live by next month, The New York Times‘ David Carr reported , a move later confirmed by CNN in a statement. Ratings struggles haven’t let up on the Piers Morgan news show, which scored its second-lowest numbers to date last week. The network will look for a replacement for its 9PM ET slot, and Morgan says he is likely to continue his relationship with CNN after March’s cancellation. Among the candidates is recent hire Bill Weir. CNN renamed the show Piers Morgan Live last spring following two years on the air as Piers Morgan Tonight — shortly after it notched a yearly low in the ratings.
Having had a rocky ratings ride ever since its January 2011 launch taking over from Larry King, the former America’s Got Talent judge’s show hit lows for CNN in its time slot. Morgan’s talk show started to take on serious water last fall with Fox News’ revamp of its long-standing primetime. Replacing Sean Hannity in the 9PM slot in October , FNC’s The Kelly File improved on its predecessor’s already impressive results and shot to top of the cable news pile. The Kelly File has pretty much stayed in the top 3 cable news shows ever since. With a less-than-strong lead-in from AC360, Morgan’s show never gained any traction from FNC’s transition. The demise of Piers Morgan Live and the recent axing of Anderson Cooper‘s intermittent 10PM show now leaves most of CNN’s primetime seeking new shows, potential new faces and Jeff Zucker praying for better ratings. With the exceptions of Blackfish and Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown, CNN’s been unable to turn its ratings around since the former Today producer took over in late January 2012. Now Zucker will have to figure things out with 9PM and 10PM replacement before the all-important upfronts in April.
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