The Larry King Live finale is tonight on CNN. Larry’s ratings have seen better days, and even his farewell week hasn’t generated much interest, the ratings are below last week’s, but it’s interesting to note that the Larry King Live show on November 9, 1993 was one of the top 10 most viewed cable programs of all time.

It was a debate on the North American Free Trade agreement (NAFTA) between Al Gore and Ross Perot. The show held the title of the most viewed cable program of all time for nearly 14 years until it was knocked off the perch by High School Musical 2.

I’ve never been much of a LKL watcher, but I rarely miss anything on TV with Jerry Seinfeld. My memory of the show will likely be Larry asking Jerry about Seinfeld going off the air in a way that implied that the show had been cancelled, when in fact it had been #1 in its final year. Jerry’s reaction was priceless.

Top 10 Most-Viewed Programs in Cable Television History (Viewers): (as of 9/29/10)

Rank Date Program Network Viewers (000s)
1. 10/05/2009 Green Bay Packers-Minnesota Vikings ESPN 21,839
2. 11/30/2009 New England Patriots-New Orleans Saints ESPN 21,402
3. 09/15/2008 Philadelphia Eagles-Dallas Cowboys ESPN 18,608
4. 12/03/2007 New England Patriots-Baltimore Ravens ESPN 17,522
5. 09/27/2010 Green Bay Packers-Chicago Bears ESPN 17,454
6. 08/17/2007 High School Musical 2 Disney Channel 17, 241
7. 12/28/2009 Minnesota Vikings-Chicago Bears ESPN 17,006
8. 11/09/1993 Larry King (NAFTA Debate) CNN 16,837
9. 12/25/1994 Detroit Lions-Miami Dolphins ESPN 16,063
10. 10/23/2006 New York Giants-Dallas Cowboys ESPN 16,028

Note: excludes breaking news; live + same day

Update: I am advised that two Monday Night Football games this season finished ahead of the LKL program, which would now put it at #10. If I can generate an updated table I will replace it.

Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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