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Morgan Agrees to Extra Year on Contract in Exchange for CNN Waiver

NBC is willing to let Piers Morgan appear on CNN clearing the way for the America’s Got Talent judge to take over Larry King’s 9 p.m. time slot on the cable news network.

According to sources, NBC’s conditions for granting Morgan a waiver on his contract include a one-year extension on Morgan’s Talent contract.

Reports that Morgan was on the short list to replace King, who will step down in November, first surfaced several weeks ago in the British press. It was at that time, according to sources, that Morgan approached NBC and Fremantle about a waiver to host a program on CNN.

CNN never confirmed it was eyeing Morgan. And CNN/US president Jon Klein told B&C on June 30 that CNN was not negotiating with Morgan. Now of course, the parties are legally free to hammer out a contract.

Gossip inside the cable news network has been rampant since the first report in the British press. Speculation heated up when Simon Cowell, the American Idol judge and a producer on America’s Got Talent, told the infotainment news magazine Extra on July 1 that he helped “broker” a deal between Morgan and CNN.

The New York Times and The Wrap both reported tonight that a deal between Morgan and CNN is imminent.

Morgan has made no secret of his desire to host a topical talk show. He hosts an interview program in his native England where he has interrogated politicos including former Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

“I think there’s a gap in American television for that one-on-one, slightly edgy,” he told B&C way back in 2008. “Most talk shows you get seven minutes with a guest and they are plugging something.”