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‘Piers Morgan Tonight’ Sinks To 2013 Low: Only 87K Viewers In Key Demo

By | Friday March 1, 2013 @ 4:04pm PST

Following what many saw as a preview of what CNN’s mornings might look like with Chris Cuomo and presumptive co-host Erin Burnett, Jeff Zucker’s network-in-progress got more bad ratings news. For the second day in a row, CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight sank to a yearly (2013) low in the prime 25-54 demographic with just 87,000 viewers. PMT is down 27% in total viewers, according to Nielsen data, and down 38% in the demo from its debut on January 17, 2011. Additionally, last night PMT had the lowest demo in its time slot, even beaten by sister network HLN’s Dr. Drew with 208,000 viewers in the demo. Morgan’s subjects last night included dysfunctional goings-on in Washington, the papal situation, and a conversation with Gus Searcy, the so-called mentor of Jodi Arias, who’s on trial in Phoenix for killing her ex-boyfriend.

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CNN Hits 20-Year Weekly Primetime Low

By | Tuesday August 7, 2012 @ 10:54am PDT

Primetime is not good news for CNN lately. Amidst having its least watched month in primetime in two decades in May and the lowest rated month in total viewers in 10-years in April, CNN has now hit a 20-year all time primetime weekly low. The latest fall came during the week of July 30 to August 5, 2012. Both primetime hosts Anderson Cooper and Piers Morgan were on full time duty that week, with no substitutes. The decline was among total viewers and the key 25-54 demo. During the week of July 30 to August 5, Piers Morgan Tonight at 9 PM averaged 314,000 viewers overall, with a mere 81,000 in the 25-54 demo, according to Nielsen. That average is the lowest week Morgan has had since he took over Larry King’s spot on January 17, 2011. During the same time slot over on Fox News, Sean Hannity averaged 1,749,000 total viewers and 324,000 in the 25-54 demo. On MSNBC, The Rachel Maddow Show averaged 933,000 total viewers that week, with 271,000 in the key demo. Bookending Morgan’s show, Anderson Cooper 360 at 8 PM averaged 349,000 viewers for the week, also with 81,000 in the demo. Cooper’s 360 10 PM repeat had 97,000 among the 25-54 demo, the sixth lowest the network has had in two decades, but a slight 259,000 average total viewers for the week. That averaged total viewership was the lowest 10 PM weekday hour CNN has had in 20 years. These numbers … Read More »

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Harvey Weinstein Guest-Hosting CNN’s ‘Piers Morgan’ With Bill Clinton: Live-Blog

By | Thursday May 31, 2012 @ 6:00pm PDT

Multi-Oscar winning indie studio chief Harvey Weinstein is guest-hosting CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight and spending the hour interviewing former President Bill Clinton. The show was pre-taped in New York this afternoon. The appearance by Weinstein, a long time Clinton supporter and big time donor to Democrats including President Obama this election cycle, comes as part of Guest Host Week on the primetime CNN talk show. With CNN’s primetime ratings hitting 20-year lows this month, Harv’s presence could be a good move for the network. Or not.

Weinstein starts off with an approach as measured and understated as his black suit and black tie. Quentin Tarantino would be proud.  After introducing Clinton (“The things I do for you, Harvey,” the ex-Prez says), Weinstein asked him right off what his favorite movie is. Clinton says High Noon is his flick pick – though he really likes Casablanca. Clinton tells Weinstein that Brad Pitt and George Clooney are too good-looking to play him in a movie, though Clooney is about his size. The former President thinks Meryl Streep should play Hillary Clinton. Harvey plugs The Weinstein Co’s  Iron Lady with the Streep reference. Clinton starts talking about how much The Lion in Winter and Tom Jones meant to him.

There was plenty of gooey-gushing by Weinstein, who tells Clinton he was the first President that “was cool”. Weinstein and Clinton also talk politics. The back to Hollywood. Weinstein says “in his world” everyone supports gay marriage and asks Clinton if Obama took a risk by … Read More »

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CNN Hits 20-Year Monthly Rating Low In May

By | Wednesday May 30, 2012 @ 1:46pm PDT

CNN Ratings DownThe news just went from bad to worse at CNN. After the cable news network delivered its lowest-rated month in total viewers in over a decade in April, May became CNN’s worst month in primetime among total viewers in over 20 years. From April 30 to May 27, the cable news network attracted an average of 389,000 viewers in primetime. It was also CNN’s second-lowest-rated month in primetime among the 25-54 demographic (114,000) since October 1991. Only May 2000, with 104,000 viewers in the demo, did worse. Piers Morgan Tonight received the lowest total viewer and 25-54 demo numbers that CNN has had in the 9 PM time slot in two decades. The interview show got only 417,000 total viewers and 117,000 among the 25-54 demographic. At 7 PM, Erin Burnett, another relative CNN newcomer, had the lowest 25-54 demo numbers in 20 years in the time slot for the network and the second lowest after June 2001, in two decades in terms of total viewership. Burnett’s show attracted just 89,000 viewers in the 25-54 demo from April 30 to May 27. The latest numbers follow CNN hitting its lowest-rated weekday primetime in 20 years during the week of May 14-18.

Related: CNN Will Add Chef Anthony Bourdain To 2013 Weekend Programming Recipe

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CNN Hits 20-Year Weekday Primetime Low

By | Tuesday May 22, 2012 @ 9:56am PDT

CNN Ratings Drop 2012The only ratings news CNN is getting lately is bad news. Last week, the cable news network had its lowest-rated weekday primetime in 20 years in terms of total viewers. From May 14-18, CNN averaged 395,000 viewers in primetime with Anderson Cooper’s AC360 and Piers Morgan Tonight. The full seven days of last week was the third-lowest-rated full week in primetime since March 1997. Additionally, last Monday to Friday was also the network’s fourth-lowest-rated weekday primetime week among adults 25-54. CNN scored just 111,000 viewers in the demo. CNN’s previous worst weekly weekday primetime among adults 25-54 was May 15-21, 2000, when the network recorded 91,000 viewers among adults 25-54.

This ratings news comes less than a week after the network hit its lowest primetime among adults 25-54 in 15 years on May 15 with Pier Morgan Tonight. That followed a terrible April where CNN had its lowest-rated month in a decade.

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CNN Slumps To 15-Year Primetime Low

CNN fell to a 15 year primetime low last night in a key demo and limboed down to its second worse weekday primetime since March 1997. A new episode of Piers Morgan Tonight at 9 PM drew in only 39,000 viewers in the Adult 25-54. The news network itself averaged just 308,000 viewers in primetime with Morgan’s show and Anderson Cooper’s AC360 leading at 8 PM and again at 10 PM. CNN had 73,000 viewers in the Adult 25-54 during Tuesday’s primetime. This comes on the heels of April’s bad news when the network had its lowest-rated month in over a decade. The forensics on the 9 PM slot’s low Adult 25-54 numbers are revealing. The last time a CNN show had that kind of demo numbers in that weekday timeslot was on August 22, 1997. Back in 1997, a Larry King Live show on a Friday night got 50,000 viewers in the Adult 25-54. However unlike 1997, when the show’s total viewership was 693,000, Morgan’s show last night only had a total viewership of 284,000. That actually wasn’t actually a record low for Morgan’s show, which debuted on January 17, 2011, but it was down from a regular weekday. Over on Fox News, Sean Hannity had 1.7 million viewers in the 9 PM slot, with 334,000 viewers in the Adult 25-54. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show had 839,000 viewers, with 315,000 in the Adult 25-54. In the last … Read More »

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CNN’s ‘Piers Morgan Tonight’ Gets Beat In The Ratings By A 3 AM Fox News Show

By | Tuesday November 1, 2011 @ 10:11am PDT
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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Christine O’Donnell Walks Off Piers Morgan Interview

By | Wednesday August 17, 2011 @ 6:16pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

In a bizarre incident, former Delaware GOP Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell today walked out of the taping of an interview for CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight, which is set to air tonight. The tipping point was Morgan’s question about her stance on gay marriage. (By that point, he had already quizzed her on witchcraft and sex with the tension between the two visibly escalating, especially when Morgan repeatedly asked O’Donnell to address old comments about masturbation she had made in an 1990s MTV documentary special.) “You’re being a little rude,” she told him several times before asking her handlers “Are we done?” and taking off her microphone. But not before schooling Morgan on conducting interviews: “Don’t you think as a host if I say ‘This what I wanna talk about’, that’s what we should address?” O’Donnell was on the show promoting her book Troublemaker. “My first ever walk-out in 25 years of interviews,” Morgan wrote on Twitter. “I guess viewers can decide if I was ‘rude’ or not tonight.” Here is the video, judge for yourselves. UPDATE: After airing the unfinished interview on his show tonight, Morgan invited O’Donnell to return tomorrow and promised not to be rude.

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Sheen Willing To Work With Chuck Lorre Again, Harvey Weinstein Bets On Moonves

Nellie Andreeva

Over the past week, Sheen has called Two and a Half Men co-creator Chuck Lorre a clown, a turd and a charlatan among other things. But, despite the bad blood, Sheen doesn’t rule out working with Lorre again. “Maybe two guys just sit in a room and say, ‘Look, we hate each other, let’s continue to make some great television,” he said during his 20/20 interview that aired tonight.

There was no love for CBS executive though. “The fun stops” on the set of Men “when they roll in,” Sheen said. “They just puke all over it. They’re not welcome to be in the presence of what I’m delivering.”

Meanwhile, on Piers Morgan Tonight, Harvey Weinstein was asked about Sheen whom he called “one of the best actors when he’s motivated.”

But when Morgan suggested that the actor’s strategy of going after the bigwigs, including CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves, might work, Weinstein quickly dismissed that. “I know Les Moonves,” Weinstein said. “Charlie Sheen is playing a losing game.” He later added, “Les Moonves knows how to program a network, Les Moonves knows how to make a show. He is a dangerous guy to go against.”

As for acting jobs, Weinstein said he would cast Sheen, who co-starred in his company’s spoof Scary Movie 3, in Scary Movie 4.

Morgan saw a ratings bump from his Monday interview with Sheeen which delivered 1.3 million viewers, tying Morgan’s largest audience since the premiere.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: ‘Men’ Repeat Is No.1 In Viewers, ‘Harry’s Law’ & ‘Mike & Molly’ Up

Nellie Andreeva

Viewers can’t get enough of Charlie Sheen. After a day of media blitz featuring a string of interviews with the troubled Two and a Half Men star, viewers flocked to watch him on the show that spawned all the controversy. A repeat of Men (11.6 million viewers, 3.2/9 in adults 18-49) was the most watched show on television last night. And that despite extra Sheen competition at 9 PM as the actor himself was on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight talking about the situation around Men. In a promising sign for CBS’ Mike & Molly (3.4/9, 11.4 million), which may be assigned a tentpole position sooner than originally planned given the Men turmoil, the freshman comedy was up 6% from last week to tie veteran How I Met Your Mother (3.4/10, 9.3 million) as CBS’ top program of the night in 18-49. Mother was down 3% from last week, midseason comedy Mad Love (2.7/7, 8 million) at 8:30 PM was down 4%. (CBS aired a Hawaii Five-0 rerun (1.8/5 at 10 PM) Read More »

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Piers Morgan To Interview Larry King

By | Monday February 21, 2011 @ 11:13am PST
Nellie Andreeva

In a face-off that is bound to feel awkward and uncomfortable, CNN’s Piers Morgan will interview his predecessor Larry King this week. The encounter comes on the heels of King’s statement last week that Morgan “may have been oversold” to American audiences. “He was going to be dangerous. He was going to be water cooler talk,” King told BBC Radio 4. “He’s good. He’s not that dangerous.”

In a statement, Morgan vaguely referenced the controversy. “I can’t think of many people I’d rather interview than Larry King, and I’m sure people will be fascinated by the dynamic between us, for obvious reasons,” he said.

Morgan was far snippier on Twitter. “May have to twang those suspenders to prove how dangerous I really am,” he wrote. And “Hope Larry remembers he has to sit on the right now.”

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Larry King On Piers Morgan: “I Think He May Have Been Oversold”

By | Thursday February 17, 2011 @ 8:00pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

In an interview for BBC Radio 4 in his successor Piers Morgan’s native Britain, former CNN host said Morgan was a “fine” host but may have suffered from overhyping. “I think one of the problems (CNN) did was over sell it. He was going to be dangerous, he was going to be water cooler talk,” King said. “He’s good but not that dangerous. I think they might have been better off starting quietly and that’s not Piers’ fault, or maybe it is, I’m not inside anymore. He’s certainly not bad. He’s certainly an acceptable host. He asks good questions, maybe he interrupts a little too much at times. I think he may have been oversold.”

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Piers Morgan Gets New Booker, Gets Ripped By Howard Stern & Ties Larry King’s Ratings

By | Tuesday February 1, 2011 @ 11:48pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

It was an eventful day in Piers Morgan news world. After hitting a ratings and an all-around low for his interview with the Kardashian sisters last week, it became clear that Morgan should be going for better guests. His producers agree, hiring a new booker, 15-year ABC News veteran Katie Thompson who worked primarily with Barbara Walters, including on her 1999 interview with Monica Lewinsky.

Speaking of Barbara Walters and guests on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight, former guest Howard Stern, who delivered Morgan’s biggest demo ratings to date, took a shot at the British host on his radio show today. “Stop going around bragging like you’re gonna be the next Barbara Walters, or something,” he said. “I like the guy, but he’s gotta really wise up. Dude, you’re in a whole new f**king ballgame … you’re on CNN, in America – welcome to the war.”

Meanwhile, the final ratings for last week are in, and Piers Morgan finished 3rd (978,000 viewers; 279,000 in 25-54) behind leader, Fox News’ Sean Hannity (2.1 million; 525,000), and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow (1.1 million; 283,000). And with the whole hoopla about “kicking Fox News’ butt”, CNN is pretty much where it was a year ago when Larry King drew almost identical ratings to Morgan in the same 9 PM slot: 989,000 viewers and 290,000 in 25-54.

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No Ricky Gervais Viewership Bump For Piers Morgan But He Bounces Back In Demo

Nellie Andreeva

Well, with guest Ricky Gervais CNN’s Piers Morgan didn’t quite smackdown Sean Hannity. “If I don’t smack you down tonight with Howard, I’ll take you on Thursday with Ricky Gervais. love Piers,” Morgan tweeted to the Fox News host on Tuesday before his second show with Howard Stern. That night, he edged Hannity in 25-54, which has remained Morgan’s only ratings victory in his premiere week. With newsmaker Ricky Gervais as a guest last night, Morgan averaged 1 million viewers, slightly down from Wednesday night for a new low. He lost both the viewer and demo race to Hannity, drawing about half of what his Fox News competitor got. In 25-54, Morgan bounced back from the low on Wednesday. Morgan also returned to second place in total viewers after falling behind MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Wednesday. Here are the rankings for the cable news networks at 9 PM:

Thursday/Day 4 (Ricky Gervias)

FNC’s Hannity: 2,079,000 in P2+ (557,000 in 25-54)

CNN’s Piers: 1,025,000 in P2+ (279,000 in 25-54)

MSNBC’s Maddow: 976,000 in P2+ (264,000 in 25-54) Read More »

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Ricky Gervais Supported Steve Carell’s Decision To Leave ‘The Office’

Nellie Andreeva

UPDATED: On Piers Morgan Tonight, Ricky Gervais, co-creator and star of the original British version of The Office and executive producer of the U.S. adaptation, talked about his initial reaction to Steve Carell’s decision to leave the NBC series. “I sent him an email saying: I think you are doing the right thing,” Gervais said. “As a producer, I was expected to try and stop him because he is a big part of it.” Gervais appeared on the fence as to whether The Office should continue without Carell as is the network’s plan. “It can survive,” he said of the show. “Whether it should or not I don’t know.” Gervais also talked about his upcoming cameo on The Office as his character from the original series, Michael Scott’s counterpart David Brent. “I bump into Steve Carell, it’s a little thing,” he said of the guest stint, which was supposed to be kept a secret. Here is the full exchange:

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Piers Morgan Falls To Third Place On Day 3

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: Read More »

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Piers Morgan Drops 40% In Viewers On Night 2, Inches Up In The Demo With Howard Stern

Nellie Andreeva

Despite a popular and controversial guest, Howard Stern, the second edition of Piers Morgan’s new talk show on CNN drew 1.27 million viewers, down almost 40% from its Monday premiere. But Stern proved its demo mettle by helping Morgan climb 6% in adults 25-54 (550,719) from the premiere and edge the 9 PM slot leader, Fox’s Sean Hannity (2.2 million, 506,441 in 25-54) in the demo. However, Hannity was in full control among total viewers, beating Morgan almost 2:1. Yesterday, Morgan tweeted to Hannity: “If I don’t smack you down tonight with Howard, I’ll take you on Thursday with Ricky Gervais. love Piers.” He probably will have to wait until Thursday night for the promised full-blown smackdown, though his demo victory last night was impressive. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow (1.13 million, 264,961 in 25-54) held steady in total viewers and is now running neck-and-neck with Morgan after finishing a distant third on Monday. She slipped in the demo by about 100,000 viewers from Monday.

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Solid Ratings Start For Piers Morgan On CNN: 2.1 Million Viewers Tune In

Nellie Andreeva

In his heavily publicized debut last night, CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight drew 2.1 million viewers, 520,519 of them in the 25-54 demographic. Morgan couldn’t dethrone the reigning king in the 9 PM slot, Fox News’s Sean Hannity (2.4 million, 599,800 in 25-54), who had Sarah Palin on, but crushed MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show (1.1 million, 342,013), which had been Hannity‘s runner-up in the 9 PM hour. Morgan’s premiere, which featured an interview with Oprah Winfrey, came very close to the farewell episode of his predecessor, Larry King, who averaged 2.2 million for the final Larry King Live last month, and is head and shoulders above CNN’s primetime average, including Larry King Live‘s 674,000 viewer average for 2010.

Morgan is getting a great lucky break in his premiere week. A previously scheduled interview with British comedian Ricky Gervais, slated to air on Thursday, has the potential to become a big newsmaking event following Gervais’ much talked about hosting performance at the Golden Globes. Could Gervais do for Morgan what another Brit, Hugh Grant, did for Jay Leno, fueling a ratings upswing? And speaking of noisemakers, Morgan has Howard Stern tonight.

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Piers Morgan’s CNN Debut Not “Surprising”

Nellie Andreeva

At the very end of the premiere episode of his new CNN show, Piers Morgan Tonight, Morgan turned to his first interviewee, Oprah Winfrey, and asked “How have I done?” “You have been surprising,” was her carefully chosen answer. “Surprisingly bad?” Morgan asked with a nervous chuckle. “No just surprising,” Winfrey reiterated. Actually, there was little surprising about Morgan debut interview as CNN’s successor to Larry King. After months of hyping his provocative style, Morgan came across as a capable interviewer but spent the hour worshiping at the church of Oprah, calling her queen/American royalty, the most powerful woman in America, world’s most famous interviewer, etc and throwing mostly softball questions at her.

Morgan was hurt by the long time gap between the taping of the interview at the very beginning of the year and its air date. Winfrey had since appeared publicly at other places, including before the TV critics as part of her new cable network OWN’s portion  of the winter TV Critics Assn.’s press tour. In fact, whole segments from Morgan’s interview, including the first 10 minutes, were exact replicas of Winfrey’s TCA session, with Winfrey repeating some of her answers almost verbatim. The early taping also didn’t allow Morgan to address the ratings declines for OWN after its solid premiere.

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