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Piers Morgan "shocked" by Hasselhoff's 'America's Got Talent' exit


By Christopher Rocchio, 01/07/2010 

Piers Morgan said he was as "shocked as anyone" to learn that David Hasselhoff is leaving America's Got Talent.

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"I didn't know anything about this until last night. My phone went and somebody said, 'David's leaving the show.' I'm really shocked," said Morgan while serving as a guest co-host during the fourth hour of Thursday's Today show broadcast on NBC. 

Hasselhoff announced on Wednesday night that he's leaving America's Got Talent after serving on its judging panel with Morgan since the NBC reality series premiered in 2006.

Morgan said he was "really sad" to hear about Hasselhoff's departure.

"He and I were on the first season together, we've done four years together. I didn't know him before. I think he thought I was the devil incarnate from Britain, I wasn't massively convinced by him, and we became really good friends," explained Morgan.

"He's a crazy, lovable, endearing guy who happens to have starred in the two biggest TV shows of all time -- Knight Rider and Baywatch. He was great on [America's Got Talent]."

Hasselhoff said that he was leaving America's Got Talent to follow his "dream" of doing his own TV show, which he added "will be announced very shortly."

While the 57-year-old failed to elaborate on the new project, he was reportedly close to finalizing a deal with A&E for a new reality series in October.

"Apparently he's got some big reality show with his kids that's going to be a big thing that he really wanted to do," said Morgan.

"He's talked to me before about it. His real dream, I think, would be to make his own show with his family. He's incredibly close to his kids. I'd watch that. He's a compulsive guy to watch on TV."

Today co-host Hoda Kotb asked Morgan if he knew who would be replacing Hasselhoff on the judging panel.

"I don't know," he replied before joking that it could be America's Got Talent's creator and executive producer.

"I hear Simon Cowell's desperate, but I'm not sure if he'd want it."

(Photo credit NBC)


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