Top Stars Jockey For Axed Piers Chair

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Not only are stars dancing on PIERS MORGAN TV grave but they’re battling to get his prime –time gig. See WHO’s in the running!

KNOW-it-all Piers Morgan’s talk show isn’t even cold in the TV graveyard, but big-name celebrities are battling for his CNN prime-time slot.

The cast of contenders reportedly includes former “Today” co-host Ann Curry, MSNBC talk-show host Rachel Maddow, CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Anthony Bourdain, and three former co-hosts of ABC’s “The View” – Joy Behar, Star Jones and Rosie O’Donnell.

“While Rosie has publicly denied that she’s vying for the job, people close to her are lobbying CNN,” a TV insider told The ENQUIRER.

“They’re arguing that Rosie is best suited after being on ‘The View’ and hosting her own syndicated talk show. Rosie also thinks that she can get more viewers than the others.”

But Rosie – now some 40 pounds lighter after undergoing a gastric sleeve procedure – faces stiff competition, said the source.

After hosting “No Reservations” on the Travel Channel for several years, culinary badboy Bourdain launched his “Parts Unknown” show on CNN last year. But he’s already clashing with fellow CNN host Cooper, said the source.

“Anthony has been well-received at CNN, and he thinks he’s more popular than Anderson!” said the source.

“Meanwhile, Ann Curry’s agents have also been pushing her, saying she was a ratings powerhouse at ‘Today,’ and can attract viewers in Piers’ time slot.”

“Piers Morgan Live” replaced the CNN show hosted by iconic interviewer Larry King in early 2011, but never scored solid ratings.

Choosing Brit-born Morgan’s replacement “may get very messy,” the insider predicted. There are big bucks to be had.