After initially avoiding the issue, the odds-on favorite to replace Simon Cowell on American Idol has pulled himself out of the running.

"I do America's Got Talent, so it's not going to happen," Piers Morgan said during an appearance on Friday's Today show broadcast. "But it's nice to be the favorite."

"Are you sure it's not going to happen?" asked Today co-host Hoda Kotb.

"I'm pretty sure, yeah," replied Morgan.

Fox confirmed on Monday that Cowell is leaving American Idol following its upcoming ninth season to instead focus on launching a U.S. version of his The X Factor reality competition series for the network in Fall 2011.

Morgan had initially dodged questions about whether he'd be replacing Cowell, who at the time had only stated he was unsure whether he'd remain with American Idol once the five-season extension he signed in 2005 expires after the show's ninth season this year.

"Simon Cowell is my boss, I have to be very careful here... I don't think anyone can replace Simon Cowell. I think he is irreplaceable. He is the dark master," Morgan said while serving as Today's guest co-host last Tuesday.

"The only reason people are saying that I'm the favorite is because I'm probably presumed to be as mean as he is, which I feel quite upset about because I'm actually Mr. Nice Guy."

American Idol's ninth season -- the last for which Cowell will serve as a judge -- premieres Tuesday at 8PM ET/PT.