As Pier Morgan's time on CNN comes to a close this month, his on-air colleagues at the network are apparently fighting for the coveted 9pm time slot.
"Bill Weir, Don Lemon and Jake Tapper are in a 'death match' for it," reports PageSix. "With one TV insider saying, 'It’s like ‘The Hunger Games’ at CNN, a fight to the death between Weir, Lemon and Tapper for the slot.'"
Weir and Tapper are apparently old ABC rivals, “and are fiercely competitive, to the point of strong hostility,” notes a PageSix source. But one of our sources disputes this, saying that's "complete crap" and the two are in fact friends.
Weir, meanwhile, has received good ratings while guest hosting on CNN this past week, but “he has produced a number of pilots, which haven’t been picked up.”
Deadline reported a similar story a few weeks ago, noting that the network is making four men — Jake Tapper, Bill Weir, Don Lemon, and the recently arrived Michael Smerconish — compete for the slot.
"Each anchor would bring a very different flavor to the hour," writes The Huffington Post. "Smerconish has had a long career as a centrist radio host. Weir was an ABC News veteran who has been filing the odd report for a few months, but is almost certainly expecting something bigger for himself ... Then, there's Lemon, who would seem to fit most neatly into the primetime cable news landscape."
Meanwhile, it's also rumored that Piers' replacement will be more of a household name.
“Rosie O’Donnell is at the top; the rest are Joy Behar, Ann Curry, Anthony Bourdain, David Muir, Star Jones, Anderson Cooper and Rachel Maddow,” a source told The Daily News. “Most of the people that are being considered are ones that either create news, are going to make news or have rated really high on television in the past.”
“Piers Morgan Live,” whose 9 p.m. time slot had previously belonged to Larry King, was canceled amid some of its lowest-ever ratings at a time when CNN head Jeff Zucker is trying to fix the struggling channel’s lineup.
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