Nellie Andreeva

CNN’s 9 PM anchor Piers Morgan Tonight is regularly pummeled in the ratings by its Fox News primetime counterparts. But in October, it also got beat by Fox News’ overnight program Red Eye, which airs at 3 AM. The talk show hosted by Greg Gutfeld averaged the largest audience in its five-year history (446,000) as well as 177,000 in adults 25-54. In the demo, it edged Piers Morgan (176,000) at 9 PM as well as a slew of other cable news programs in way more trafficked time slots: CNN’s Erin Burnett Outfront (146,000) at 7 PM, MSNBC’s Morning Joe (141,000) from 6-9 AM, MSNBC’s Hardball With Chris Matthews (163,000) at 5 PM and 7 PM, HLN’s Nancy Grace (157,000) at 8 PM, and CNN’s John King USA (121,000) at 6 PM. What led to Red Eye‘s ratings surge? Possible explanations include Gutfeld’s additional exposure as one of the co-hosts of Fox News’ 5 PM show The Five as well as his recent Twitter war with Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine over the rocker’s request that Fox News stops playing their music.

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