Nellie Andreeva

Piers Morgan started off promisingly as a close No. 2  cable news program at 9PM in its Monday premiere, then fell 40% on Tuesday but still finished second. Last night, Piers Morgan Tonight (1 million total viewers, 239,000 of them in the 25-54 demographic) slipped further to finish behind the time slot leader, Fox News’s Sean Hannity (2 million, 565,000 in 25-54) and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow (1.1 million, 221,000 in 25-54). In the demo, Morgan edged Maddow to finish second after topping Hannity with the Howard Stern interview on Tuesday. Between his premiere and his third airing, Morgan lost half of his audience (1 million viewers.) Last night, Morgan featured his first non-showbiz guest, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Tonight he is back to entertainment with controversial Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais. Here are the standings at 9 PM for the past 3 nights:

Wednesday:

FNC’s Hannity: 1,964,000 in P2+ (565,000 in 25-54)

MSNBC’s Maddow: 1,094,000 in P2+ (221,000 in 25-54)

CNN’s Piers: 1,028,000 in P2+ (239,000 in 25-54)

Tuesday:

Hannity: 2,182,900 in P2+ (506,441 in 25-54)

Piers: 1,273,193 in P2+ (550,719 in 25-54)

Maddow: 1,125,947 in P2+ (264,961 in 25-54)

Monday:

Hannity: 2,365,047 viewers (599,800 in 25-54)

Piers: 2,099,462 viewers (520,519 in 25-54)

Maddow: 1,111,865 viewers (342,013 in 25-54)

TV Editor Nellie Andreeva - tip her here.