CNN Cancels Piers Morgan's Show

Piers Morgan's primetime news show "Piers Morgan Live" will end sometime in March, after three years of unimpressive ratings.

CNN Cancels Piers Morgan's Show
Flickr / Pete Riches

CNN announced Sunday Piers Morgan's 9 p.m. news show is getting the ax.

The New York Times broke the news, noting Morgan and CNN president Jeff Zucker both agreed to pull the plug on "Piers Morgan Live." Morgan told the paper his last show would be sometime in March.

"It's been a painful period and lately we have taken a bath in the ratings. ... I am a British guy debating American cultural issues, including guns, which has been very polarizing."

Morgan inherited CNN's 9 p.m. time slot from Larry King in Jan. 2011. His show was defined by Morgan's combative interviews and outspoken opinions, especially on the subject of gun control.

But Morgan's show never really took off when it came to ratings. Deadline Hollywood reports the show suffered its second worst performance ever this week. It's been consistently outpaced by rivals Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, and Sean Hannity and Megyn Kelly on Fox News.

Rumors about a departure have been swirling for a while. Variety notes Zucker announced he planned to "shake things up" in CNN's primetime slots earlier this year.

Morgan, whose contract with CNN expires in September, says he plans to stick around CNN, just in a different role. But with his exit, who's going to be filling the empty slot?

The network hasn't made any official announcement yet, but the smart money's on former ABC "Nightline" anchor Bill Weir, who joined CNN in October. At the time, CNN denied the rumors that Weir was intended to replace Morgan. (Via Mediaite)

Cancelling Piers Morgan's show isn't the only change Zucker's made to CNN's lineup. Earlier this month the network announced Anderson Cooper's panel show "AC360 Later" was being pulled from its 10 p.m. spot.