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Anderson Cooper: Egypt Attack Propels Ratings

Anderson Cooper

After being punched in the head 10 times, the anchor tops Fox News Channel and MSNBC in demo numbers.

The day Anderson Cooper was attacked on the streets of Cairo led to the anchor beating rival Fox News Channel and MSNBC shows in news' target demographic of adults 25-54.

At 10 p.m., Anderson Cooper 360 pulled in 540,000 viewers -- topping MSNBC's The Ed Show (329,000), and FNC’s On the Record With Greta Van Susteren (475,000), according to numbers released by CNN.

On Wednesday, CNN producer Steve Brusk Tweeted, "Anderson said he was punched 10 times in the head as pro-Mubarak mob surrounded him and his crew trying to cover demonstration."

Cooper then escaped to the roof of a nearby building, where he said on air that he and his crew were trying to get to a neutral zone between protestors and pro-Mubarak supporters when they "were set upon by pro-Mubarak supporters punching us in the head. The crowd kept growing, kept throwing punches, kicks. ... Suddenly a young man would look at you and punch you in the face."

In fact, the Egypt story has helped propel CNN past rival MSNBC in the demo across primetime. On Tuesday, when the violence in Egypt took a turn for the worse, CNN topped MSNBC in primetime. And Wednesday night, CNN's Parker/Spitzer (257,000) and Piers Morgan Tonight (384,000) also bested MSNBC's The Last Word (196,000) and The Rachel Maddow Show (345,000). But FNC's The O'Reilly Factor (808,000) and Hannity (677,000) still prevailed at 8 and 9 p.m., respectively.