Our great nation may not have succeeded in deporting Piers Morgan, but we have, through our collective disinterest, managed to take him off the airwaves.
Yes, Piers Morgan Tonight has been cancelled, effective "probably in March," according to New York Times' David Carr. Morgan may stay with CNN "in a different role."
Morgan replaced Larry King -- who was, for many, the face of CNN -- in 2011, but his ratings never matched those of his predecessor after an initial honeymoon period when the show first premiered. Competing for America's cable news attention in the time slot were Fox News' Sean Hannity and Megyn Kelly and MSNBC's Rachel Maddow. Their ratings surpassed (in some cases, far surpassed) his. And Anderson Cooper's primetime bookends are two of CNN's highest-rated shows, making Morgan's look even worse. Last month, CNN got the third-worst ratings in its history.
His downfall, according to Variety's Rick Kissell, was his anti-gun stance. Carr seems to agree, saying that Americans didn't like being lectured by someone from another country. Also, he points out, Morgan tweets about cricket (he also tweets about soccer a lot).
Morgan, too, is happy to blame his non-Americanness: "Look, I am a British guy debating American cultural issues, including guns, which has been very polarizing, and there is no doubt that there are many in the audience who are tired of me banging on about it," he told Carr. It's a nice excuse, but perhaps the problem isn't that Americans don't want to watch a foreigner; we just didn't want to watch him. After trying to make it work and refusing to admit defeat for two years, CNN finally gave up.
What will replace Morgan? We don't know yet, but CNN president Jeff Zucker told Ad Age last month that he is planning to "shake up prime time." Cooper's 10 p.m. show was cancelled a few weeks ago, though he remains on at 8 p.m.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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