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.
Read More: By NIKKI FINKE AND TIM ADLER, Deadline