NBC Renews ‘America's Got Talent' for Sixth Season

Announcement comes as judge Piers Morgan is close to finalizing deal with CNN to take over for Larry King
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NBC has picked up a sixth season of its summer series America's
Got Talent
, the network announced Aug. 31.

America's Got Talent, which is produced by FremantleMedia and
Simon Cowell's SYCO Television, has been the top-rated summer series since it
premiered five years ago. So far this season, it is averaging a 3.4 rating in
the 18-49 demographic with 11.8 million viewers for Tuesdays performance show
and a 3.3 rating and 11.8 million viewers for Wednesday's results show.

AGT

Host Nick Cannon and judges Piers Morgan, Sharon Osbourne and
Harvey Mandel will all return next summer. This season's two-night finale airs Sept.
14 and 15.

"AGT continues to be
a ratings sensation and has hit it out of the ballpark creatively this season,"
Paul Telegdy, executive VP of alternative programming
and production at NBC and Universal Media Studios, said in a statement. "We have a dream team of celebrity judges and coupled
with our versatile host Nick Cannon, we're looking forward to an even
bigger summer next year."

While hardly a surprise, the announcement comes as CNN has yet
to confirm the worst-kept secret in media circles; that Morgan will get Larry
King's primetime berth on the news network this November. Speaking on the red
carpet at Sunday night's Emmy awards, Morgan called King's program among the "great holy grails of television" and conceded that negotiations
with CNN "are nearly at an end." The network is also closing in on an executive
producer for the show, according to sources.

In opening up Morgan's contract, NBC wrung multiple
concessions from Morgan and CNN parent Turner Broadcasting including an extra
year on Morgan's contract that will keep him on America's Got Talent through
the 2013 season, a stipulation that Talent will take precedence over his
CNN duties and financial concessions from Turner. 

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