By Jen Heger - Radar Assistant Managing Editor
The cast of TODAY has made it clear they will not be appearing on Piers Morgan Tonight, after their competitors at Good Morning America were interviewed on the CNN program last week, and RadarOnline.com has exclusively learned Matt Lauer was the deciding factor in the decision.
"Producers contacted the executive producers of the TODAY show to discuss the possibility of having Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Natalie Morales and Al Roker appear on Piers Morgan's show as the cast of Good Morning America was on his last week," a source close to the situation tells Radar. "Matt told the executive producers he didn't think it was a good idea for them to appear on Piers' show because he didn't want to get asked about Ann Curry.
"Ann is turning out to be a thorn in Matt's side and he thinks it's unfair he has been portrayed as being responsible for her being fired from the show. Matt doesn't want to do any press for the time being and feels the show has nothing to gain by doing group interviews, so the invitation was turned down."
As previously reported, Good Morning America's Robin Roberts told Morgan last Thursday that she learned she had the blood and bone-marrow disorder MDS on June 11, the day her show clinched the top spot in the ratings - a fact she called "surreal."
"When I look at that date, I don't just think of that as when we became number one officially, that was also when I was officially told of my condition," she said. "So it was one of those surreal moments with the worlds colliding.
"And I waited a couple of months to tell ... I knew once I made that announcement that you just showed that my life was going to change."
Meanwhile, Lauer is "hoping that coverage of the presidential political conventions will put TODAY back on top in the ratings. It really irks him that since the Olympics, GMA has beaten his show in the ratings," the insider says.
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