A comprehensive history of Piers Morgan's ratings woes

Watch the author's full analysis of Piers Morgan's ratings on The Wonderful World of Stu

By Dan Andros

CNN officially announced Piers Morgan as the replacement for the legendary Larry King on September 8th, 2010. The next few months on CNN saw a steady barrage of promotion to hype the shakeup, hoping to end what was dubbed a ‘ratings depression’ in the 9pm time slot.

Piers himself said before his program debuted that the ‘only benchmark’ of his success would be whether or not he could lift CNN’s ratings from ‘cellar-dwelling’ status. Well, he’s had 664 shows to get the job done – has he?

Nope, not even close.

A closer look at his entire ratings history leaves no doubt: Piers Morgan has failed and he’s failed spectacularly. You might be saying CNN has been in the ratings gutter for quite some time now and it’s a little unfair to unleash an entire ratings expose on a single host. That’s a completely legitimate argument – but Piers Morgan’s massive ego and unwarranted arrogance nullifies it.

From day one, Piers has made it clear that this is about him and only him. Instead of humbly entering the cable arena, Piers entered guns blazing:

After the months of promotion, Piers did come out of the gate sprinting. He placed 2nd in the demo on his opening night with 521,000 viewers, thanks to debut guest Oprah Winfrey. But Hannity still managed to score 600,000 and win the night with an interview of Sarah Palin. Piers' assessment of the situation was strange, to say the least:

“Without that (Palin interview) we would’ve beaten Fox.”

Ah yes, the old ‘if the other team didn’t score all those touchdowns we totally would have won!’ excuse. Works every time.

On show number two, Stern did indeed score a first place finish for Piers with 551,000 in demo, beating Hannity (506,000) for the night. A good start, but the next few weeks would be a harbinger of things to come. Over the next 27 shows, Piers averaged just 228,000 in demo and that number was inflated by CNN’s breaking news coverage of the Arab Spring during the month of February.

Amazingly, Piers’ ego remained completely intact. On his satellite radio program, Howard Stern recalled running into Piers a few weeks after their interview. Piers asked Howard how ‘my’ interview was and actually made Stern an offer: “you can come on my show once a month” he said. Ironically, the stated purpose was to help boost Stern’s career – not the other way around. Imagine telling the guy responsible for your only number one finish that he needed career help and that you were the one who could provide it. Imagine having a show that loses badly to Hannity and Rachel Maddow night after night - and telling a man who has made hundreds of millions of dollars off of his broadcasting talent that you are going to save his career. It’s madness.

During those first 27 shows, Piers came in 3rd or 4th place (out of 4) 20 times, or 74% of the time. A terrible start by any measure, but unfortunately for Piers and CNN, this would be as good as it gets. Over the next few years, Piers Morgan Tonight would be a consistent 3rd place finisher and whenever a decent made-for-TV trial landed on CNN Headline News, Piers was a guaranteed last place finish.

Earlier this year, during the Jody Arias trial, Piers finished in last place an amazing 24 straight times, covering a period of 5 straight weeks. The only thing that stopped the streak was a miserable 85,000 put up by Headline News on March 29th – but Piers picked up the streak again the following Monday and came in last another 10 straight times. Piers finished last 34 out of 35 nights – and it wasn’t just because he was getting decent numbers and others went through the roof.

He was awful.

He averaged a measly 119,000 viewers in the demo during the stretch, which included some insanely low scores:

93,000

87,000

89,000 (3 times)

78,000

97,000

98,000

The low point was on April 8th with a 68,000 in demo.

To give you an idea of how miserable these numbers are – during that same month of April, Fox News' Red Eye averaged 155,000 in demo. Red Eye airs at 3am ET, when almost the entire country is asleep.

The losing streak finally came to a halt on April 15th, 2013 when the Boston Marathon bombing occurred. Piers scored a rare first place finish, squeaking past Hannity on that tragic Monday as CNN covered the bombings with all of its breaking news team. Later in the week, Piers would be the benefactor of the manhunt for the bombers, scoring two more first place finishes in demo on Thursday and Friday.

This is a trend that seems repeat itself with Piers – so much so that science is considering calling it ‘Piers Law’ – and that is: when Americans suffer, Piers Morgan is having a pretty decent day. When Americans are having a pretty decent day, Piers Morgan ratings suffer.

In late 2012, Piers had placed third (out of four) in 13 of 14 straight shows before tragedy struck – the Sandy Hook massacre. CNN’s breaking news coverage helped lead Piers to another rare first place finish.

Between September 10th, 2012 and November 6th 2012 he placed third or last an astonishing 40 out of 45 times. His only first place finishes came the day Hurricane Sandy hit shore and on election night, which wasn’t even him hosting the program, it was CNN’s election coverage.

In 2011, another abysmal streak of distant 3rd and last place finishes (18 out of 20 shows) was stopped by the Tsunami in Japan, where CNN’s breaking news coverage lifted Piers to a 1st place on Friday March 11th.

When a tornado struck Moore, Oklahoma and devastated an entire town – it lifted Piers Morgan ratings up to #1 on May 20th.

The pattern is clear: very few Americans intentionally watch Piers Morgan.

Sean Hannity averages more than double Piers per night in demo – 476,000 for Hannity and 235,000 for Piers. Maddow also beats Piers with a nightly average of 312,000 in demo.

In his first 664 shows, Piers Morgan has placed 3rd or 4th (out of 4) an astonishing 85% of the time. He most commonly comes in a distant third place (60% of the time) behind Hannity and Maddow and is dead last with 25% of his shows. He occasionally places 2nd (11%) and he only lands in first place a mere 4% of the time.

But even the 4% is misleading. Let’s take a closer look: that 4% is a total of 28 shows out of the 664 he’s aired to date. Of those 28 first place finishes, very few of them are legitimate wins.

To score a ‘legitimate’ win, Piers has to be on the air and so does Hannity. Vacations and guest-hosts don’t count. So here’s the breakdown of his 28 first place finishes:

  • 7 were due to breaking news coverage of natural disasters and tragedies (Tsunami, hurricane Sandy, Tornado in Moore OK, Sandy hook shooting, etc)
  • 3 were not against Hannity (he had fill in hosts those nights)
  • 13 were due to alternate programming (debates, SOTU, inauguration, holiday schedule, etc)

That leaves five legitimate first place finishes.

FIVE out of six hundred and sixty four programs – or 0.8% of the time – Piers Morgan Tonight has been successful.

By his own measure, Piers Morgan has been a ratings failure during his tenure at CNN. There is no refuting the numbers – the only question that remains – is his ego still intact?

If only his ratings were as big as his inflated ego…

On the radio program this week, Glenn Beck and Pat Gray discussed a series of recent polls that suggest presidential nominee Joe Biden's expected lead may be slipping with traditionally Democratic voters.

A new poll conducted by the Jewish Electorate Institute shows that two-thirds of Jewish voters still plan to vote for the Biden-Harris ticket in November. However, President Donald Trump's support within the Jewish community is also the highest among any Republican candidate in recent history.

In more bad news for Biden, a CNN poll (yes, CNN) released last month showed growing support for President Trump among black voters in swing states. Meanwhile, his support among Latino voters remains at roughly 33%.

"I don't think it's going to go the way the Democrats hope that it will," Glenn said of the election. "If you look at the groups that the Democrats have carefully fostered ... that's falling apart. If Donald Trump can grow that by 5%, and hurt the Democrats by 5% ... that alone could swing the election."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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We're being set up for a civil war. The Left is grooming us for an Eastern European-style revolution this election, and they're not even trying to hide it any more. The playbook for Mainstreet USA is the exact same that has been used in places like Ukraine, initiated by the same people in order to completely upend the American system.

On his Wednesday night special this week, Glenn Beck takes us through a tale of three chalkboards that will connect the dots: the Obama admin in Ukraine, the State Department's relationship with George Soros, Black Lives Matter and Antifa riots, the Great Reset, public school indoctrination, mail-in voting. It all points to something dangerous happening in November if we don't act now.

Watch the full video below:


The only way to watch the extended episode of tonight's show is on BlazeTV. Start your free trial and get $20 off a one-year subscription with code BANTHIS.

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The left has already determined that the wildfires raging across the West Coast were definitely caused by climate change and Big Tech is determined to silence anyone who dares suggest otherwise. Facebook even announced a sweeping policy on Saturday to remove posts that claim the fires were caused by arson from far-left activists.

But on his radio program Wednesday, Glenn Beck revealed multiple arrest records for suspected arsonists in California, Oregon, and Washington — and several of those charged and arrested were also instigators in Black Lives Matter rallies, violent protests, and Antifa riots. He also called out the "news gods" in Big Tech, daring them to try to censor his video.

"I asked my staff, to see if there was any evidence [of arson] on the fires. And I don't mean evidence from Twitter. I mean evidence. Is there anybody who has been arrested for arson?" Glenn said. "Well, here they are. And YouTube and Facebook, go ahead. I want you to demonetize this clip. I want you to somehow or another say that we're lying. I want you to throttle this. Go ahead. Because then you're going to have to explain what we got wrong. And I happen to have all the documents right here. So my attorney is really ready for that throttling or demonetization. You say you're a protector of the truth? Great, here it is."

Glenn read off the first 10 arrest records, which combined allege the destruction of more than 120,000 acres and 700 structures, as well as tens of thousands of people evacuated from their homes.

"You want to tell us, PolitiFact, how you came to the conclusion ... that there was no arson in these fires?" Glenn asked. "Can you tell me how you came to that conclusion? Because your fact-check seems to be entirely false."

Watch the video below for more details:


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Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders joined Glenn Beck on this week's podcast to share her unique perspective as a trusted adviser and confidante to President Donald Trump for two and a half years, which she also details in her new book, "Speaking for Myself: Faith, Freedom, and the Fight of Our Lives Inside the Trump White House."

Sarah described the unprecedented levels of corruption she saw firsthand during the Russia probe and shocking lengths to which Democratic leaders and the mainstream media would go to "take the president down."

Sarah said she often saw sides of Donald Trump that the media never covered. Recently, she went on the record denying the Atlantic's claims that the president mocked our military during a 2018 trip to France. She was on that trip, she told Glenn, and her account of what really happened paints a very different picture.

"The people who are making this outrageous charge are such cowards for doing so in an anonymous way. If you really believed this, and believed it was wrong, one, why did it take you so long? And, two, put your name on it the way the rest of us have," Sarah said.

"He didn't say those things. Not only was I there that day, Glenn, I spent two and a half years traveling all over the world with the president, watching him interact with men and women of our armed forces almost every single day during that two-and-a-half year period," she added.

"This is a person who loves America and loves the people who allow the rest of us to live in America, free, and have prosperity. And I got to see that a lot. I think it is shameful that people are trying to distort who he is and what he has done, particularly when it comes to the men and women in the military."

Watch a clip from the full interview with Sarah Huckabee Sanders below:

Find the full podcast below, on Glenn's YouTube channel or on Blaze Media's podcast network.


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