CNN's Primetime Ratings Buckle Against Olympics, Hit New 20-Year Low

CNN Logo - H 2011

CNN Logo - H 2011

On the heels of a small ratings uptick in July, last week marked more lows for CNN.

The beleaguered cable news network posted its lowest-rated weekly showing in primetime in 20 years during the week of July 30 to Aug. 5.

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Obviously hampered by the primetime draw of NBC's Olympics coverage, Piers Morgan Tonight hit a low in both total viewers and adults 25-54 at 9 p.m. while the 10 p.m. broadcast of Anderson Cooper 360 sunk to a record low among viewers.

Specifically, Morgan pulled 314,000 viewers in P2+ with 81,000 in the key demo -- both numbers dramatically lower than the averages Larry King was pulling before departing the hour last January. The numbers are also dwarfed by direct competition from Fox News (Hannity, pulling 1.75 million viewers and 324,000 in the demo) and MSNBC (The Rachel Maddow Show's 933,000 viewers and 271,000 in the demo).

Cooper's 10 p.m. show earned 259,000 viewers in P2+, 97,000 of them adults 25-54. And though the latter was not a record low for the hour, it was its worst showing in over a decade. Cooper's comparatively more robust 8 p.m. show, which saw modest year over year growth in July, brought in 349,000 viewers and 81,000 in the demo.

CNN Worldwide President Jim Walton announced his imminent departure from the network on July 27.