Friend: Piers Morgan Wants CNN to Spit Eliot Out!
By Rob Shuter Posted Oct 7th 2010 08:50AM
CNN executives are so excited about disgraced former New York guv Eliot Spitzer's new show that they are building him a brand new set at their Columbus Circle offices in NYC. However, sources tell me that one of the network's newest stars, Larry King replacement Piers Morgan, thinks they shouldn't even bother.
"This is not the sort of lead-in Piers will tolerate when he replaces King at 9PM," a friend of Morgan's tells me. "Piers is in this to win it. He isn't interested in coming in second or third to FOX or HLN. And if that means getting rid of [Spitzer] at 8PM so that he can have a real lead-in to build upon, so be it."
The reviews have been dreadful for 'Parker/Spitzer,' which is co-anchored by Pulitzer-winning conservative columnist Kathleen Parker.
After catching the debut episode on Monday, Time magazine critic James Poniewozik said the show "seemed to be working hard -- too hard -- to create a sense of intimacy between the hosts and the audience. Especially with the male half of the team, Wall Street crusader and disgraced governor/prostitution client Spitzer, with whom the term 'intimacy' carries the kind of connotations CNN would I think wish to avoid."
Gloria Goodale of the Christian Science Monitor called the show's format a "jumble" that "somebody outside of the show's programming bubble ought to have vetted."
Even worse than the reviews were the ratings. 'Parker/Spitzer's' first night averaged just 454,000 total viewers and 118,000 in the coveted 25-54 demo. That isn't gonna cut it against FOX's 'The O'Reilly Factor' (3.1 million total viewers), MSNBC's 'Countdown' (1.1 million) and HLN's 'Nancy Grace' (468,000).
One TV insider has a different take on why people aren't watching.
"No one wants to have someone like him in their living rooms while they're sitting down to enjoy dinner!" my cheeky insider believes. "It's impossible to look at that man and not think about all the young ladies he paid to have sex with him."
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