Contact Us

All Things CNN is an independent blog that has no affiliation with CNN.

If you wish to contact us with tips, comments or suggestions our email is

To contact a specific CNN program please check our CNN programs link at the top of this page.

To contact CNN
click here.


All Things CNN
is now on Twitter.
twitter / AllThingsCNN

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Few Quick Reads About CNN Primetime

There's a lot of Internet buzz about CNN's primetime ratings on Monday (5/14/12) & Tuesday (5/15/12) nights this week. Here are a few write ups:

On Monday night, HLN’s Nancy Grace nearly doubled CNN’s Anderson Cooper‘s viewers in the demo during the 8 p.m. slot. She also surpassed him in total viewers. Grace drew in HLN’s highest ratings of the night, while Cooper fared better during the 10 p.m. hour.
Note: Cooper broadcast live from the Turkey/Syria border on Monday night and his overnight ratings (demo) were 67 for 8PM and 125 for 10PM.

CNN fell to a 15 year primetime low last night (Tuesday) 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 15 years, CNN’s overall weekday primetime numbers have only been worse on Thanksgiving Day 2011. On November 24, 2011, CNN had a primetime average of 262,000 viewers. The Adult 25-54 viewership on that Thursday night was 83,000. That’s what they call a very slow news night.

Last night was a typical, boring Tuesday, with little earth-shattering news to drive TV viewers to cable news. It was also May sweeps, with the season finale of “NCIS: LA,” “America’s Got Talent” on NBC and “Dancing With the Stars” on ABC drawing an astonishing 39 million viewers between them at 9 PM.
Unfortunately for CNN, “Piers Morgan Tonight” was the apparent victim of the busy night, drawing only 39,000 viewers 25-54 at 9 PM. To say those ratings are anomalous would be something of an understatement. That is the lowest 9 PM weekday demo rating for CNN since at least 1997. While the ratings were an outlier, it was a fairly normal edition of “PMT,” with Morgan hosting. Guests included Jane Lynch and “The man with the golden voice” Ted Williams.
“PMT” drew 284,000 total viewers, which was down from a typical weekday, but not a record-breaking low.
“PMT”s lead-in and lead-out, “AC360,” drew around 90,000 demo viewers at both 8 and 10 PM, also down from a typical weekday this year.

All content, unless otherwise cited, is © All Things CNN and may not be used without consent of the blog administrator.


Anonymous said...

Jay Leno never wanted to leave The Tonight Show. They brought Conan O'Brien in but he was soon fired due to low ratings. Jay Leno was brought back to do The Tonight Show and has been on top ever since. I wish CNN would do this with Piers Morgan and Larry King. It's no secret that Larry King didn't really want to leave. Even because of his age, I would appreciate a weekend show with Larry King. Piers Morgan needs to be let go from CNN.

Anonymous said...

With these ratings, can CNN execs still ramble on about how they are the trusted source for hard news? I think people have decided to go elsewhere and when big news breaks they realize they no longer need CNN. They can try an act all self-righteous about how smart journalism and serious news doesn't get high ratings but they can't admit that they are no longer delivering consistently smart, insightful, relevant news. They are condescending, smarmy, and out-of-touch. Your ratings suck because the content is increasingly stupid and you're abandoning smart news for manufactured outrage and ginned up conflict. Don't copy FOX or MSNBC. Blaze your own trail with courageous, tough journalism. Think NPR, The Atlantic, Financial Times, Time Magazine, and PBS Frontline. Build an identity again - news that is relevant, interesting, THOUGHTFUL, tough. Stop with the cotton candy news and dramatizing events. No wonder CNN is sticking with OutFront - both lack a core identity with a bad case of deficit disorder with an enormous heap of hyperbole.

Anonymous said...

Oops... In my own moment of attention deficit disorder, I left out the word "attention" in my post above. LOL. I meant to say, no wonder CNN is sticking with OutFront - both lack a core identity with a bad case of ATTENTION deficit disorder.

I guess I've watched too much CNN.

Anonymous said...

I don't think you should compare Nancy Grace's ratings to Anderson's - that's like comparing the ratings for American Idol to Anderson's show. Also just because his show on Syria did poorly, it doesn't mean that it was not an important show to do. We need to know what is going on in the world, even if there is nothing we can do about the situation.

Anonymous said...

TVN needs to be more objective.
"It was a typical boring Tuesday nite on cable news."
There have been and always will be boring news cycles and they know this better than anyone.
The question still remains why Rachel Maddow is STILL able to garner a million viewers and Fox News Keeps on Keeping on in the millions regardless of the BORING NEWS CYCLE.
So this is no excuse and no way out for CNN or its anchors and that includes Anderson Cooper, who the executives from other major cable networks are watching closely.
As far as Piers Morgan goes, it is no surprise. His distainful attitude has driven viewers away regardless of the month day or year.

Anonymous said...

It will be interesting to see who CNN hires to
replace Piers Morgan. George Stroumboulopoulos,
Aisha Tyler, any others ?

More importantly who is Time Warner looking at to
run CNN. Is it Rome Hartman, Chris Licht, Richard
Stengel, anyone ?

What will replace Out Front ? A women's show
could help 360. FOX & MSNBC are probably a
little too political for female viewers. Try for 3
months of Summer and see what happens. CNN
can't find out what will work without trying new
and different things. News should be at the core
of CNN but their are different styles. The Dally
Show has more news cred than cable news.POV
from the pundits is so not working for CNN.

Anonymous said...

@9:52PM - You talk as if they have already let Piers Morgan go. It's wanted by CNN viewers but isn't at all speculated. I always hear George S. or Aisha Tyler. If Larry King didn't work towards the end, and Piers Morgan isn't working, why would they choose another celebrity/famous figure interviewer? CNN needs to change that. I don't want to hear that they can handle breaking news, because I've seen Piers handle it. They would be better at ABC, NBC, FOX, or CBS, but not a major news network. If CNN must have a talk show, develop a weekend one. It's ridiculous for me to see a talk show smack down in between major news shows.

Anonymous said...

Are you serious?
Nancy Grace is a CABLE NEWS ENTERTAINMENT show that has partnered with CNN and is owned by Time Warner. It is their inherent sister network, so to speak.
Anderson SHOULD be compared to Nancy Grace, absolutely.
American Idol is on a BROADCAST NETWORK and no, his ratings, and her ratings would never come close to Idol or any other Broadcast program. They should be so lucky.
The comparison was made because Grace is so lame and Anderson has become even more lame...ratings wise.

Anonymous said...

Rachel Maddow has an interview all of the time on
TRMS. Strombo would be just fine as well as Aisha
Tyler who could do a Daily Show for CNN. Strombo
is more than another interview show. CNN has to
match the personality and wit of Rachel Maddow.
Piers Morgan is just not good at TV or interviews.
Really take the time to watch Strombo. It is a news
show. CNN has to strike a conversational tone and
connect with viewers.

CNN has to create a series of shows to air from
5 PM to Midnight to bring in viewers. It is easy
to say CNN should do news but how should it
be presented, what about story selection, pace.
News trailers mentioned here are the future.
Just put a 3-5 second ad at the end. How long
does it take to say brought to you by Macys or
GM. CNN can't keep living in the past. CNN has
to find ways to make the news more interesting.
Having anchors just sit and read the news or
toss questions to pundits won't work anymore.

CNN has to make that transition from all things
politics to a content/news provider that is always
ahead of the game. Digging to bring us the news
and interesting topics. Direc TV and others now
let you take you TV with you. That now means
at work you can access your favorite networks
right at your desk.

TSR needs to only be on an hour at 4 PM.

At 5PM have Conor Knight do a news show
like he did at Current to match the news
with Google, Yahoo & social media. He also
effectively used magazines and newspapers.
Daily there would be a ton of content. CNN
needs to be schooled about social media.

At 6PM an evening news show that takes on
ABC, NBC & CBS. David Muir would be great
but if not have Mark Kelley bring Connect
With Mark Kelley to CNN.

A women's news show with Betty Nguyen, Isha
Sesay, someone hired from Univision as well as
Ashleigh Banfield. A group of ethically diverse
female journalists. Hanging out with your girls
getting the news. CNN had better recognize the
changing demographics in America. Yes, the
music is vital to the show. 7 PM game changer.
The lack of diversity in cable news is a very big
issue. CNN would be making history.

360 remains on CNN at 8 & 10 PM. It helps
the news be at the center of CNN prime time.
Bring back the Floods theme song and bump
music. 360 is in dire need of better production,
be it graphics and video and a kick butt video
montage opening. Now if there is breaking news,
you would have Anderson Cooper, Betty Nguyen,
Isha Sesay who can take us through the prime
time hours. Sometimes there are very slow news
days. CNN has to still find a way to bring in
viewers to watch the network daily.

CNN has to effectively use music all day long.
It is the world we live in and it's going to get
harder for eyeballs for all networks. Music is
the universal language.

9 PM could go to either Strombo or Aisha
Tyler. One would be on at 9 , the other at
11 PM.

News would still be at the center of CNN. You
would just be getting different styles . All
CNN shows look alike. The same old stories
all day long, pundits every hour. Very little
news or substance. CNN should let all of their
shows have their own identity. Where are the
ads on CNN with anchors talking about the
missions of their shows and what they are
doing for us each day. All day long can we
see live hits mixed in with commercials that
will highlight the news we would see all day
on CNN. Tell us why CNN is relevant and why
we should be watching.

For exampke, FB IPO. You would have the
reporter sum it up in 15- 30 seconds. End
with the words Stay Tuned. See what happens.
See where the story goes in bold letter at the
end full screen.

Anonymous said...

Considering Nancy Grace and Anderson Cooper share the same timeslot on CNN sister stations, I think it is a fair ratings comparison. Just like it is fair to compare Burnett to Valez-Mitchell. It should be embarrassing that Valez-Mitchell and Grace beat Burnett and Cooper on a semi-regular basis. CNN should consistently get higher ratings than HLN. If not, something is very wrong with CNN. Maybe this week has been slow news but like @7:12pm points out, Fox and MSNBC are still doing well. I've been a long time watcher of CNN and it is painful to see what this once great brand has become.

Anonymous said...

Agree Anon 5:46 PM
To say that you shouldn't compare one's ratings to the other is ridiculous.
And I concur with your analogy, they are both on at the same time and competing for available viewers. And now that CNN seems to be more of an "entertainment" network, Anderson is competing for the same viewers as Nancy Grace.
Anderson is CNN's shining glory and he can't even come in second in any time slot, says a lot about the dire situation at CNN. A situation that all of us see except the execs at CNN.

Anonymous said...

Is it me or is CNN a little slow in covering news.
CNN completely missed the Ameritrade/Cubs
angle to the Rickets super pac story yesterday
and seems to being playing catch up. MSNBC
had this last night. It does seem like TVN is
trying to save PMT. They wrote up some bogus
claim for him and Rachel was not on last night.
It was Ezra Klein. They must not be closely
watching the ratings for PMT. 175,000 has not
been normal for him.

Anonymous said...

For smart political conversation, 360 should go
with Ana Marie Cox, Nia Malika Henderson and
Sam Stein. I have noticed that Lawrence is adding
a guest interview each night. 360 has got pundits.
TLW topped Greta in the demo last night. 360
used to book guests all of the time. Young viewers
are not into pundits and that is sending 360 viewers
to Rachel & Lawrence. You can tell younger viewers
are not that into ED so 360 is blowing it. Better
content, better guests, faster paced 360. The show
is so slow at times it will put you to sleep. 360
owes the viewers so much more. 360 needs to
do better. It is true the production of 360 looks
really bad. Geez CNN. Stop looking so cheap.

Anonymous said...

In continuation of my 12:37PM comment, just heard Larry King will begin a new online show called Larry King Now to debut in the Summer. I look forward to it! Wish CNN could have re-hired him back before though. Oh well.

Anonymous said...

CNN is in trouble because they went all tea party
birther Breitbart Beck. CNN viewers know they are
not legit news or political commentary. It is crazy
talk and CNN knows it is not true. CNN has no
business putting this silliness on the air. They
are not about facts or substance. Nobody is going
to watch CNN for politics. Until the pundits are
gone I won't be watching too much of CNN. The
moment I hear any pundit introductions I hit the
remote. But that is the arrogance of CNN. CNN
knows what you want, what you think or how
you feel about everything. Yeah right.

Anonymous said...

Joe put his foot in his mouth the other morning
when he came off as insensitive about companies
like Bain coming in and firing people. His ratings
seem to have taken a hit in the last couple of days.
Too bad CNN has Starting Point. CNN has to match
up better against MSNBC. It always bothered me
when CNN announced Ken Jautz would run the
network. He completely destroyed the news on
HLN. He was bought to CNN to do the same thing.
Think about it, Jautz hired pundits and did zero
to beef up the news apparatus at CNN. In fact, he
succeeded. He made CNN just as unwatchable as
HLN. CNN should go for Chris Licht. He is getting
rave reviews for what he is doing with CBS. Jeff
Fager is David Rhodes boss. CNN can't get either
of them.

Anonymous said...

360 has not been upgraded in years. When was
the last time you saw new graphics/banners and
music. The dancing blue background for an hour
is just being lazy. MSNBC puts a lot of effort into
their prime time lineup.

CNN is wasting time trying to save Out Front &
PMT. It is not like viewers are going to start just
magically watching those shows.

Anonymous said...

It is not a question of if but when will CNN dump
Piers Morgan. There is a whole lot of speculation.
CNN will try to find another role for Erin Burnett.
CNN has to stop working with an outdated biz
model that is why Starting Point is in trouble.
Jon Stewart warned them years ago that Crossfire
serves no purpose.. CNN stupidly thinks the left
vs right fake debates matter in 2012. Wonder how
long it will take for them to realize the world is
very different now. The pundits have made CNN
so boring and annoying. Pundits have made CNN
totally irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

George Stroumboulopoulos might just end
up on CNN. Ironically the CBC is splitting the
show into 2 live half hours. The show will be
live at 7 PM and available for live streaming.
Aisha Tyler seems better suited for 11 PM.
Honestly, if you are at CBS, ABC, MSNBC why
would you come to CNN management The
bigger question is : who will replace Jautz ?
That will determine the direction of CNN.

Anonymous said...

@9:27 Amen.