Lawrence O'Donnell Scores First Ratings Win Over Greta Van Susteren

Lawrence O'Donnell

MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell host started as a political analyst on the cable network in 1996. Before that, he won an Emmy for his executive producing and writing work on NBC’s The West Wing. He was also the creator and ep on the short-lived NBC show Mister Sterling. O'Donnell made headlines recently when he asked his Last Word panel if New Jersey governor Chris Christie's weight could be used against him in a presidential run.

MSNBC’s Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell edged out Fox News Channel’s On the Record with Greta van Susteren in the all-important 25-54 demographic for the week beginning July 30. This is the first time O'Donnell has topped Van Susteren for the week in the 10 p.m. timeslot.

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Based on a four-day, Monday-Thursday average (Last Word does not air on Friday’s and On the Record was preempted by Fox Files), O'Donnell pulled in 241,000 viewers in the demo compared to Van Susteren’s 227,000. Van Susteren still attracted more total viewers than O’Donnell, 1.4 million compared to 882,000. Dana Perino hosted for Van Susteren on Monday while Van Susteren was conducting a sit-down with presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

Meanwhile, over at CNN, Anderson Cooper’s 10 p.m. program posted its lowest numbers in a decade with 259,000 total viewers and 97,000 in the demo.

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It’s obviously too early to predict a cable news sea change in the 10 p.m. hour. And it's worth noting that Fox News is still dominant in the earlier primetime hours with Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity out in front among the cable news competition at 8 and 9 p.m., respectively. And certainly NBC’s primetime coverage of the London Olympics – which is averaging 32.8 million viewers a night for the first 12 days of the Games – are likely siphoning viewers from many networks.