Piers Morgan Live

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Piers Morgan Live
Piers Morgan Live titlecard.jpg
Also known asPiers Morgan Tonight (2011–13)
GenreTalk show
Created byPiers Morgan
Presented byPiers Morgan
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons3
Running time41 minutes
Original networkCNN
Original releaseJanuary 17, 2011 (2011-01-17) –
March 28, 2014 (2014-03-28)
Preceded byLarry King Live
Followed byCNN Tonight
External links

Piers Morgan Live (formerly known as Piers Morgan Tonight) was an American television talk show that was hosted by Piers Morgan and broadcast on CNN.[1] The show premiered on January 17, 2011, and filled in the former Larry King Live timeslot.[2] It was announced as cancelled on February 23, 2014, after a continuous drop in ratings, and broadcast its last episode on March 28, 2014.[3]

The theme music was written by Anthony James, composer and CEO of British company Music Candy, and his writing partner Yiorgos Bellapaisiotis, Music Candy's Director.[4] Piers Morgan Live was broadcast primarily from CNN's studios[5] at the Time Warner Center in New York City.


Piers Morgan

Throughout the show's run, Morgan interviewed many guests, including politicians, celebrities and members of the public. His first guest was Oprah Winfrey.[6][7] Soon after the show's debut, when the Egyptian revolution began, the show changed from a Larry King Live-like interview format to a breaking news-format program. Morgan had never anchored a live news show, but did have experience with breaking news as a newspaper journalist.[8] Because of major news events such as the Arab Spring and the Japanese earthquake and tsunami, the ratio of taped to live interviews was the opposite of his expectations.[7]


After a respectable start on the debut show,[9] Piers Morgan Tonight had suffered from falling ratings.[10] On his first show 2.1 million U.S. viewers tuned in,[11] but by the second show the ratings dropped to 1.3 million.[12] The January 28, 2011, edition garnered just 498,000 viewers.[citation needed] The show received its second largest audience on February 28, 2011, as 1.346 million people tuned in to see Morgan interview actor Charlie Sheen, whose recent abnormal behavior made headlines.[13] However, by the autumn of 2011, the program's ratings were trending downward. In October 2011, Piers Morgan Tonight had an average total audience of 589,000 each night, down from Larry King Live's average of 657,000 in the same month a year before. In November 2011, the program had an average of just 154,000 viewers ages 25 to 54. In contrast, Larry King Live had an average of 161,000 in November 2010. Piers Morgan Tonight also had fewer total viewers that month than Larry King Live did a year before, 620,000 versus 635,000.[14]

In June 2012, it was reported that Piers Morgan Tonight had the lowest ratings for a CNN primetime slot in 21 years.[15] During the week of July 30, 2012, to August 5, 2012, the program averaged 314,000 viewers overall, with a mere 81,000 among adults 25–54—its lowest ratings to-date.[16] Despite an uptick in the final quarter of 2012 amid the presidential election, and being CNN's most-viewed program in total viewership, total viewership of Piers Morgan Tonight declined by 19% year-over-year in 2012, and by 22% among adults 25–54.[17]

Its viewership continued to decline; in June 2013, Piers Morgan Live experienced its second-lowest rated month of average viewership among adults 25–54 since January 2001.[18] On February 20, 2014, the program recorded its smallest audience among adults 25–54 to-date, with only 50,000 (among around 270,000 total viewers).[19]


On February 23, 2014, CNN announced that Piers Morgan Live would be cancelled, with its final episode scheduled to air some time in March.[20][21] The series aired its final episode on March 28, 2014; most of the broadcast consisted of coverage of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. Morgan closed the broadcast with an appeal for stronger gun control legislation in the United States, stating that "I’m so pro-American, I want more of you to stay alive."[22]

CNN would abandon having a talk show in the 9 p.m. hour of its schedule, with new CNN head Jeff Zucker choosing to experiment with airing factual, reality-style documentary series in the timeslot instead.[23][24][25]

"Banned" guests[edit]

A March 2012 report at MTV.com claimed that "Morgan has apparently felt slighted over the years by Madonna ... he claims he was lied to by the singer's publicist", and that "Morgan escalated the feud, sending a snippy message to Madonna ... Morgan wrote, 'Welcome to Twitter @MadonnaMDNAday – you're still banned from my show. Love Piers.'" Morgan additionally banned Madonna's publicist Guy Oseary due to what he called "guilt by association".[26]

In September 2012, it was reported that Morgan had additionally banned actor Kelsey Grammer after Morgan claimed Grammer "saw a photo of his ex-wife Camille in the open to our show and legged it."[27][28] On September 26, 2012, KTTV in Los Angeles reported that "many say [it] was an ambush by Piers".[29] The Huffington Post reported, "before the interview was scheduled, it was made clear that Grammer would answer all questions, including those about [his ex-wife]. His sole request was not to show any images of her."[30] Morgan had also banned Hugh Grant from the show, calling him "a tedious little man".[31]

Countries broadcast[edit]

The show was aired in the United States and Canada on cable channel CNN and simulcast to the rest of the world via CNN International.[32]


  1. ^ Stelter, Brian (December 16, 2010). "CNN Fills the Gap Between King and Morgan". The New York Times. Retrieved December 16, 2010.
  2. ^ Rajini Vaidyanathan, "Piers Morgan's debut as CNN host after Larry King", BBC News, January 18, 2011.
  3. ^ Sadie Gennis (March 14, 2014). "Piers Morgan's CNN Show Gets Official End Date". TV Guide.
  4. ^ "CNN hires UK radio producer" Archived 2012-05-03 at the Wayback Machine, Radio Today, January 10, 2011.
  5. ^ Stelter, Brian (December 16, 2010). "CNN Fills the Gap Between King and Morgan". The New York Times. Retrieved December 16, 2010.
  6. ^ "TCA: Oprah To Be First Guest on 'Piers Morgan Tonight'", Multichannel News, January 6, 2011.
  7. ^ a b "Eventful first year for Piers Morgan's CNN show". CTV. Associated Press. January 16, 2012. Retrieved January 17, 2012.
  8. ^ Morgan, Piers (January 16, 2012). "Chelsea Handler Turns the Table on Piers; Piers Morgan Discusses First Year With CNN". Piers Morgan Tonight (Interview). Interviewed by Chelsea Handler (guest interviewer). CNN. Retrieved January 17, 2012.
  9. ^ Richard Adams, "Piers Morgan's first CNN outing is second best to Fox News", guardian.co.uk, January 18, 2011
  10. ^ Sarah Gordon, "Piers Morgan Sees US Show Ratings Plummet", Sky News, January 31, 2011.
  11. ^ "Sarah Palin upstages Piers Morgan's CNN premiere with Oprah Winfrey", Show Tracker, L.A. Times, January 18, 2011
  12. ^ Ratings drop for Piers Morgan's second night on CNN ATV Network, January 19, 2011
  13. ^ Bill Gorman, "Crazy Charlie Sheen Gives 'Piers Morgan Tonight' Its 2nd Biggest Audience; Best 25–54 Demo Ever", TV by the Numbers, March 1, 2011.
  14. ^ Stelter, Brian (November 30, 2011). "Piers Morgan Struggles to Beat King's Ratings". The New York Times.
  15. ^ Amy Willis (June 28, 2012). "Piers Morgan brings worst ratings to CNN prime time slot in 21 years". Telegraph. London. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
  16. ^ Patten, Dominic. "CNN Primetime Ratings Sink To 20-Year Weekly Low". Deadline.com. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
  17. ^ "2012 Ratings: CNN Down for the Year, But Finishes 2012 With Strong Q4". TVNewser. 2013-01-04. Archived from the original on 2014-09-02. Retrieved 2021-05-16.
  18. ^ O'Connell, Michael (February 7, 2013). "TV Ratings: MSNBC Suffers Worst Quarter Since 2007, Piers Morgan Drops on CNN". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
  19. ^ Patten, Dominic (2014-02-20). "CNN's 'Piers Morgan Live' Ratings Sink To Second Lowest Ever, CNN Ties Sixth Worst Primetime Result". Deadline. Retrieved 2021-05-16.
  20. ^ Carr, David (2014-02-24). "Piers Morgan and CNN Plan End to His Prime-Time Show". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-05-16.
  21. ^ "Piers Morgan To End CNN Show "Probably In March"". Deadline. 2014-02-24. Retrieved 2021-05-16.
  22. ^ Couch, Aaron (2014-03-28). "Piers Morgan Ends CNN Run With Gun Control Plea: 'I Want More of You to Stay Alive'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2021-05-16.
  23. ^ Brodesser-Akner, Taffy (April 20, 2015). "Anchorman: The Legend of Don Lemon". GQ. Retrieved June 11, 2018.
  24. ^ Carter, Bill (April 10, 2014). "CNN to Show Documentaries in 9 P.M. Time Slot". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 10, 2018.
  25. ^ "CNN Keeps Burnett, Cooper in Primetime While Adding 'CNN Tonight' at 10 P.M." Variety. Archived from the original on April 13, 2014. Retrieved April 11, 2014.
  26. ^ Gil Kaufman, "Madonna Banned...", MTV.com, March 28, 2012. Retrieved September 30, 2012.
  27. ^ "Kelsey Grammer Walks Out on Piers Morgan", ABCNews, September 20, 2012. Retrieved September 30, 2012.
  28. ^ Emily Gagne, "Kelsey Grammer storms off set" Archived 2012-10-28 at the Wayback Machine, TVGuide.ca, September 20, 2012. Retrieved September 30, 2012.
  29. ^ Official Facebook page: FOX 11 Flash, September 26, 2012. Retrieved September 30, 2012.
  30. ^ "Kelsey Grammer, Piers Morgan: Actor Barred From CNN Show But Not Concerned, Says Source", Huffington Post, September 27, 2012. Retrieved September 30, 2012.
  31. ^ "Piers Morgan bans 'tedious little man' Hugh Grant from CNN show". Press Gazette. 18 May 2011. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  32. ^ "CNN: What time does Piers Morgan air in your country", CNN, January 18, 2011.

External links[edit]