UPDATE 2:30 PM: Barbara Walters has landed the first interview with George Zimmerman’s parents. Portions of her interview with Robert and Gladys Zimmerman will run tonight on World News and Nightline; her sit down with the couple also will run tomorrow on Good Morning America.
PREVIOUS 8:39 AM: Cable news networks’ ratings skyrocketed Saturday at 10-11PM ET when the verdict was read in the George Zimmerman murder trial. Fox News Channel led the pack with an average of 3,682 million viewers, followed by CNN‘s 3.407 million. CNN was tops in the 25-54 year old demo: 1.1716 million to FNC’s 1.113 mil. HLN ran a distant third in total viewers with 2.2 million — 980,000 of them in the demo and MSNBC brought up the rear with 1.3 million viewers — about half a mil in the demo. A six-woman jury found Zimmerman not guilty in the shooting death of unarmed teen Trayvon Martin:
FNC: 3,682,000 total viewers (1,113,000 in 25-54)
CNN: 3,407,000 total viewers (1,716,000 in 25-54)
MSNBC: 1,298,000 total viewers (510,000 in 25-54)
HLN: 2,203,000 total viewers (980,000 in 25-54)
Saturday night, between 10 PM and 1 AM ET, FNC logged an average of 2.7 million viewers. That’s a big hike compared to the 629,000 viewers the network has averaged in that block of time this calendar year to date. In the demo, FNC clocked 896,000 viewers, compared to its year-to-date average of 124,000.
CNN’s story, however, is even more dramatic: 2.42 million who tuned in to that struggling network during that same three-hour period where it has averaged only 384,000 viewers this calendar year to date. And CNN usually wins the block of time in the demo – but with an average of just 135,000 viewers. Last Saturday it averaged 1.24 million in the demo – speaking to CNN chief Jeff Zucker’s recent statement he thought the network had struck the right balance in its coverage of the Zimmerman trial.
HLN snared 1.4 million viewers between 10 PM Saturday and 1 AM Sunday with Zimmerman trial coverage – a big hike but much smaller than CNN’s when you consider MSNBC had been averaging 330,000 viewers at that time, which is only 54,000 behind CNN. In the demo, MSNBC copped 690,000 viewers – less than half CNN’s tally, though here too they two nets had been running closely calendar year to date.
More to come….