‘Talent’ judge Morgan aiming for King’s spot

FRIDAY, JULY 16, 2010

“America’s Got Talent” judge Piers Morgan appears to be the front-runner to claim the CNN talk show long hosted by Larry King.

Morgan has reportedly received permission from NBC, which airs the hit talent contest, to pursue the CNN job. He’s contractually bound to “America’s Got Talent” for three more years.

NBC Universal chief executive Jeff Zucker acknowleged Morgan had “approached us about asking us to do another job as well,” adding: “I don’t think they’re mutually exclusive.”

King, 76, last month announced he would step down this fall from the weeknight show he’s had for a quarter-century.

Morgan, 45, would bring a sharper-edged sensibility to a show entrenched in King’s easygoing, regular-Joe style.

The former British tabloid newspaper editor who turned to television several years ago, previously hosting such shows as “Britain’s Got Talent” and its U.S. spinoff, “America’s Got Talent.”

In 2008, he won the competition as a contestant on NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice.”

Amanpour arrives

Christiane Amanpour officially joins the Sunday morning political talk world on Aug. 1.

The former CNN international reporter was the surprise replacement for George Stephanopoulos as host of ABC’s “This Week,” which competes with NBC’s “Meet the Press” and CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

Jake Tapper has filled in as host for the past several months.

Dustin gets lucky

HBO is picking up the new drama series “Luck,” starring Dustin Hoffman.

The project, from David Milch (“Deadwood”) and Michael Mann (“Heat”), looks at the horse racing world from the owners and gamblers to the jockeys and gaming industry players.

The cast for the pilot also includes Dennis Farina, John Ortiz, Kevin Dunn, Jason Gedrick and Nick Nolte. Jill Hennessy will guest star.

Sela to ‘CSI: NY’

Sela Ward is coming aboard “CSI: NY.”

Ward will join the CBS crime drama this fall for its seventh season, playing an experienced investigator arriving from Washington, D.C.

She won Emmy and Golden Globe awards for her role in “Once and Again,” and an Emmy for the drama “Sisters.”

She replaces exiting cast member Melina Kanakaredes.

A bigger stand

A fourth major broadcast network is adding its support to the ambitious TV fundraiser “Stand Up to Cancer.”

Fox will join ABC, CBS and NBC in donating a simultaneous commercial-free hour of prime-time for the September telethon, a sequel to the original 2008 event which raised more than $100 million for cancer research.

More cable networks also have agreed to carry the fundraiser, with VH1, HBO Latino, TV1 and G4 joining previously announced HBO, Discovery Health, MLB Network, E! and the Style Network.

“Stand Up to Cancer,” hosted by Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer and Brian Williams, will air Sept. 10.


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