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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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The End: Final ‘Larry King Live’ Airs Tonight

Nellie Andreeva

He may have gotten out of touch, he may have been famously unprepared for his interviews, and he may have been responsible for his show hemorrhaging viewers to average underwhelming 700,000 a night, but Larry King is still an institution. After more than 25 years and about 50,000 guests, the 77-year-old interviewer tonight will host the final installment of Larry King Live, his primetime talk show on CNN. More than a dozen guests are expected to stop by, including King’s pals Ryan Seacrest, whom he tipped as his potential successor, and Bill Maher. Here a reel with some the highlights of his tenure on the show put together by CNN. It includes the famous 1993 debate between Al Gore and Ross Perot that drew a record audience of 20 million, as well as King’s live coverage of the O.J. Simpson car chase and the Marlon Brando kiss. It doesn’t include the lowlights, like when he confused Ringo Starr with the late George Harrison in a 2007 interview with the surviving Beatles members. Or when he got ripped by Jerry Seinfeld for suggesting Seinfeld might have been canceled (above).

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Larry King Heading Into Bagel Biz; Will He Have To Answer To Nate N’ Al?

By | Wednesday June 30, 2010 @ 4:32pm PDT
Mike Fleming

SURPRISE! CNN Talking To Joy Behar About Replacing Larry King

larry-kingWhen Larry King steps down from his CNN gig later this year, he’ll need something to fill his downtime. Bagels will play a role. Just before he announced his exit, King closed a deal to become a financial partner in The Original Brooklyn Water Bagel Company, a Florida-based enterprise that claims to have developed a water treatment technology that replicates the H2O from the New York borough that is the key to churning out bagels that taste like they were made in Brooklyn. (I’m not kidding). Read More »

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SURPRISE! CNN Talking To Joy Behar About Replacing Larry King

TV Behar HLN ShowA day after Larry King officially announced he will leave his CNN primetime talk show after 25 years, we hear the cable news network is in talks with Joy Behar to replace him. Behar has been one of the strongest internal candidates to succeed King. Her The Joy Behar Show on HLN (formerly known as CNN Headlline News and CNN2) has been the brightest spot on CNN’s mostly grim ratings report. It had the most growth of any primetime CNN show in Q2 among total viewers, up +39%. For comparison, CNN top anchor Anderson Cooper’s ratings were down -30%, King’s down -37%. Behar was also a regular fill-in for King on his show, a stint that led to her getting her own show on HLN.

A deal with Behar would go against King’s wishes. On his show last night, the veteran interviewer reiterated his support for Seacrest as his successor. “He’s curious, he’s interesting, he’s likable,” King said of the American Idol host. “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.” Among those people is America’s Got Talent judge Piers Morgan who, according to British papers, had been in talks for King’s job. 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. … Read More »

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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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Larry King Stepping Down From CNN Talk

CNN-logoFrequent showbiz interviewer and newsmaker Larry King announced today he’ll exit CNN “Larry King Live” after 25 years on air. His last show will be in November but he’ll produce quarterly specials afterwards under his new contract. Here is King’s statement:

larry-king“Before I start the show tonight, I want to share some personal news with you. Twenty five years ago, I sat across this table from New York Governor Mario Cuomo for the first broadcast of Larry King Live. Now, decades later, I talked to the guys here at CNN and I told them I would like to end Larry King Live, the nightly show, this fall and CNN has graciously accepted, giving me more time for my wife and I to get to the kids’ little league games. I’ll still be a part of the CNN family, hosting several Larry King specials on major national and international subjects.

“I’m incredibly proud that we recently made the Guinness Book of World Records for having the longest running show with the same host in the same time slot. With this chapter closing I’m looking forward to the future and what my next chapter will bring, but for now it’s time to hang up my nightly suspenders.”

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