What Is Going On with Piers Morgan and CNN?

By Alex Weprin 

Since mid-June, the word has been that Piers Morgan will succeed Larry King as CNN’s 9 p.m. host. It has been two weeks since the negotiating window opened and there is yet to be a deal between the parties.

Now HollywoodLife.com moves the story forward after catching up with Morgan at a party for Paris Hilton:

“That quite a big job to do,” the America’s Got Talent judge told us exclusively Aug. 10 at the launch party for Paris Hilton’s new perfume, “Tease,” in Hollywood. “It’s the biggest news organization in the world. It’s highly unlikely that I’ll be taking over.”

Update: Mystery solved. Update after the jump.

Of course, the HollywoodLife.com report is not without its problems:

The story says that one reason Morgan might not be signing with CNN is his new deal with NBC for “America’s Got Talent.” In fact, the opposite is true. NBC reworked Morgan’s “Got Talent” to allow him to negotiate with CNN.

The site also says that CNN denies that it has ever negotiated with Morgan. This was the case in June and early July, but as we have noted previously, CNN was prohibited from “negotiating” with Morgan until he got permission from NBC to do so.

Since Morgan’s new NBC deal was signed, CNN has not made any denials about possible negotiations. Morgan himself has kept quiet, declining to talk about it on “The Tonight Show” and “Live with Regis and Kelly.”

Perhaps Morgan’s comments are a negotiating ploy, or maybe the talks have indeed fallen through.

It could also be a misunderstanding. We will find out soon enough.

Update: TheWrap.com’s Hunter Walker talks to someone “close to Morgan” who says that he was “misinterpreted,” and that the deal is still on track.

Misunderstanding it is.