By Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist Published Jul 15, 2010 at 11:00 AM
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American TV viewers know Piers Morgan as a judge on NBC's frequently silly summer amateur competition "America's Got Talent."

But if all the signs are true, he's going to be taking over Larry King's nightly CNN spot this fall.

So far, nothing is official, and there's still talk that folks like Ryan Seacrest and Katie Couric are in the running for the job.

That talk is likely to continue until the word comes from CNN.

And the talk on Morgan is intensifying.

New York Post says he's likely to get $8 million for a three-year CNN deal. The New York Times says a new contract with NBC will clear the way for that CNN deal.

Morgan is more than just a judge on a "reality" show. His British TV resume includes stints as editor of tabloids News of the World and the Daily Mirror, and he's done interview shows on British television.

He has a smooth on-camera persona, and will bring the nightly one-hour King show into the 21st century. It would be a different show, of course, with the former tabloid editor asking the kinds of in-your-face questions that King never could. 

But with King's numbers -- he averaged 677,000 viewers a night during the second quarter  of this year, according to Nielsen Media Research numbers -- a different show is just what CNN needs.

Betty White's victory tour continues: NBC says Betty White will drop by this falls season premiere of "Community" The hardest working octogenarian in show business will play a "slightly unhinged" anthropology professor.

Last week, she picked up an Emmy nomination for her May hosting gig on NBC's "Saturday Night Live."

On TV: Singer/songwriter/actor Ryan Cabrera, who was part of the just-completed final season of MTV's "The Hills," is scheduled to celebrate his 28th birthday Friday night at 10 at Downtown Milwaukee's SUITE Nightclub.

  • "Next Food Network Star" finalist -- and former Wisconsinite -- Aria Kagan returns to Hotel Metro, where she was an intern, to team up with chef John Chitko to prepare a five-course tasting menu for a July 28 benefit dinner for  LGBT-Milwaukee. Tickets are $65 in advance, $85 at the door.
  • Kagan will also do a live cooking demonstration at 11 a.m. July 24 at the Milwaukee Public Market. Tickets are $24 and available by calling (414) 336-1111. It's not clear whether you can read anything into these appearances about Kagan's future on the Food Network competition, which airs Sunday nights at 8 p.m. 
  • Speaking of TV and Milwaukee restaurants, Bacchus is offering the dishes prepared by executive chef Adam Siegel for Anthony Bourdain on Monday's "No Reservations." Among the items: Strauss veal sweetbreads with root vegetables and braised marrow for $16.
  • If you're up tonight at midnight, I'll join Steve King and Johnnie Putman on Chicago's WGN-AM (720) to talk about TV. 

We report, you shut up, part 2: That video I posted yesterday of Fox News Channel's Megyn Kelly has become such a topic of discussion, that Kelly picked up the issue Wednesday. 

Here's that segment:  


Tim Cuprisin Media Columnist

Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for He's been a journalist for 30 years, starting in 1979 as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary wire service that's the reputed source of the journalistic maxim "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." He spent a couple years in the mean streets of his native Chicago, and then moved on to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and USA Today, before coming to the Milwaukee Journal in 1986.

A general assignment reporter, Cuprisin traveled Eastern Europe on several projects, starting with a look at Poland after five years of martial law, and a tour of six countries in the region after the Berlin Wall opened and Communism fell. He spent six weeks traversing the lands of the former Yugoslavia in 1994, linking Milwaukee Serbs, Croats and Bosnians with their war-torn homeland.

In the fall of 1994, a lifetime of serious television viewing earned him a daily column in the Milwaukee Journal (and, later the Journal Sentinel) focusing on TV and radio. For 15 years, he has chronicled the changes rocking broadcasting, both nationally and in Milwaukee, an effort he continues at

When he's not watching TV, Cuprisin enjoys tending to his vegetable garden in the backyard of his home in Whitefish Bay, cooking and traveling.