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Larry King Gets Ratings Boost For Finale

Nellie Andreeva

Larry King drew 2.24 million viewers for his send-off last night, posting a rare time slot victory for his departing primetime talk show. King barely edged the 9 PM’s dominant player, Fox News Channel’s Hannity (2.16 million) in total viewers, but Hannity prevailed in the adults 25-54 demographic (543,000 vs. 530,000 for King). MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow (874,000, 252,000 in 25-54) was third. King’s finale audiCNN Ratings, TV, Cable TVence more than tripled the 700,000 viewers he had been averaging this year. His ratings built throughout the final week with 458,000 total viewers on Monday, 587,000 on Tuesday and 935,000 for his penultimate episode featuring Barbra Streisand.

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So Who’ll Succeed Larry King On CNN?

Nellie Andreeva

What a sad day for Larry King. First, the Q2 cable ratings were released in the early afternoon, with CNN posting another double-digit year-to-year drop led by Larry King Live, which drew a mere 677,000 viewers and posted CNN’s biggest year-to-year demo loss of -37%. A couple of hours later, King announced that he will leave his nightly talk show in the fall after 25 years. (Larry King Stepping Down From CNN Talk) Year-to-date, King’s viewership is down -43%. On any network, such huge ratings declines would warrant a cancellation. But Larry King Live continued to be CNN’s top-rated program.

If Larry King had his way, American Idol host Ryan Seacrest would succeed him. “He’s curious, he’s interesting, he’s likable,” King told guest Bill Maher tonight. “If he has a great interest in politics, I would recommend him. But I’m sure there’s a ton of people who could do it. Come on, it’s Q&A.” Still, it’s very telling that two reality stars, Seacrest and America’s Got Talent judge Piers Morgan (who was tipped by the British press two weeks ago as King’s replacement), are in the running for the most prestigious show on a network dedicated to news and politics. CBS Evening News host Katie Couric’s name also has been part of the mix, with conflicting reports on whether she is interested or not. Her contract with CBS is up next year. Inside CNN, the two obvious candidates are Joy Behar, whose talk … Read More »

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