CNN Hits 20-Year Weekly Low in Primetime

Categories: Cable News Ratings

Written By

August 7th, 2012

The XXX  Olympics have not been good news for CNN. According to Nielsen data, the week of July 30, the channel garnered its lowest primetime ratings among adults 25-54 (96,000) and total viewers (318,000) in twenty years.

CNN's Ten Lowest Rated Weeks

P2+ P25-54
WEEK Live+SD AA(000) Live+SD AA(000)
WEEK1087-07/30/2012 318 WEEK1087-07/30/2012 96
WEEK1077-05/21/2012 344 WEEK450-05/15/2000 98
WEEK1003-12/20/2010 379 WEEK1077-05/21/2012 102
WEEK451-05/22/2000 380 WEEK448-05/01/2000 103
WEEK1080-06/11/2012 382 WEEK1004-12/27/2010 103
WEEK1076-05/14/2012 385 WEEK1076-05/14/2012 104
WEEK449-05/08/2000 396 WEEK449-05/08/2000 105
WEEK1083-07/02/2012 396 WEEK1003-12/20/2010 105
WEEK457-07/03/2000 400 WEEK1083-07/02/2012 107
WEEK125-02/21/1994 407 WEEK451-05/22/2000 109


Looking at individual programs, Piers Morgan Tonight scored a series low of 349,00 total viewers and 81,000 adults 25-54, while the 10PM telecast of Anderson Cooper 360 earned CNN's lowest ratings in the time period in 20 years.

Network Period Program Time (000s) (000s)
CNN 07/30/12-08/05/12 AC 360 (M-Th)/COOPER SPCL (Fri) 08:00P -09:00P 349 81
CNN 07/30/12-08/05/12 PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT 09:00P -10:00P 314 81
CNN 07/30/12-08/05/12 AC 360 (M-Th)/COOPER SPCL (Fri) 10:00P -11:00P 259 97
  • Former CNN Fan

    Oh geez, as a member of “the left” I cannot tolerate the idea of Morgan being a spokesperson for my political causes. I may agree with Piers politics on occasion but when I do, I often think I need to rethink my position. What’s wrong with his show? He’s a loudmouth jerk that has no clue about american politics. If you want good political analysis that counters o’reilly and limbaugh, watch msnbc.

  • Hillbilly

    Posted August 7, 2012 at 11:41 AM
    You’ll know that what you recorded is CNN when you catch yourself trying to skip programming to watch commercials.



  • Bo

    Good riddance. The “Communist News Network” (so fittingly colored Red) has never done more than allow idiots like Soledad O’Brien to sputter lies and garbage, vilify Republicans, and provide inaccurate and inflammatory portrayals of Middle East conflicts (Israel-Palestine, Iraq, Syrian uprising, etc.). Bad ratings couldn’t plague a worthier network.

  • Doug Z

    Laurence Glavin
    I theorized they’d stay with the Geraldo rerun with only a mention of the landing on the chyron if it was successful, breaking in only if it crashed

    Who would want to watch the lib Geraldo? Why were you not watching the lib.You were watching CNBC Your with all your best libs.

  • Doug Z

    Former CNN Fan
    broadcast news still posts hugse ratings numbers. 60 Minutes is a success. NPR, Time, Newsweek, The Atlantic, The Financial Times, Christian Science Monitor, Politico are all broadcast news still posts hugse ratings numbers. 60 Minutes is a success. NPR, Time, Newsweek, The Atlantic, The Financial Times, Christian Science Monitor, Politico are all nonpartisan organizations that have been successful..

    nonpartisan organizations, You have to be Kidding! They are also going down. Politico has lost 75%,as for Time they are dying fast.

  • Daniel

    CNN is left liberal wing. They are anti-church and advocacy of same sex marriage

  • cherryvanilla

    Piers is definitely not the worst thing about CNN. He makes an effort. I think the condescending and awful Anderson Cooper and his haughty sidekicks ridiculing and belittling people for entertainment is as low as anyone can go in broadcasting. Erica Hill has not done so well with her snarky snarling peronality. You have to realize its actually not right or left but the delivery. Fox talks to people like they all live in caves and they have water and food. The way O”Reilly “breaks it down for the folks’ is so revolting a person with a GED would get annoyed but the masses eat it up. CNN is equally childish with their gruelling depictions of the obvious..again and again….Piers does not belittle people. He is actually somewhat sensitive and tries his best to be respectful. He gets tangled up in the Jackson interviews rehashing old old old morbid moldy material. That is his weakness. No one wants to hear Katherine Jackson answer if she misses Michael. yawn. but he is developing something of quality that far surpasses those rehab-happy harridans and those judgmental pompous asses on HLN. Give Piers a chance.

  • Pamela

    Fox has high ratings because it is center-right, just like the country. Fox is not far right; there are no far right news channels. It’s a niche that could be filled that would bleed viewers from Fox. If CNN went libertarian, it would thrive.

  • Merlinus

    There’s nothing funnier than a frustrated FNC hater. After 10 years of singing the same tune to no avail, why stop now!!!

  • mitch

    Problem is, cnn just beats a story to death, from princess Diane to Whitney Houston, the shootings in Colorado, it’s just the same hightlights over and over again. Why aren’t they on the ground in South Chicago where they’ve had a few hundred murders?

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