Piers Morgan gets closer to Larry King's job

piers-morgan-getty-320.jpg Piers Morgan is one big step closer to filling Larry King's seat on CNN.

The "America's Got Talent" judge and former newspaper editor has gotten the go-ahead from NBC to begin direct talks with CNN. That's a big deal, because NBC Universal has its own cable news channel -- MSNBC -- and might otherwise be less than thrilled about one of its on-air personalities going to a rival.

According to The New York Times, NBC's OK means Morgan could have a deal signed and be announced as the heir apparent to King in the next few days. King announced at the end of June that he will end "Larry King Live" -- which has been on CNN for 25 years -- in the fall, though he'll continue to do specials for the network.

Morgan has been considered a front-runner for the job even before King made his official announcement, and his buddy (and "AGT" boss) Simon Cowell has been supportive. Cowell said earlier this month that he had helped Morgan in the initial stages of his talks with CNN.

In addition to his newspaper background, Morgan has hosted a series of solidly rated (and critically well-received) interview specials on British TV.

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