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Thursday Ratings: Anderson Cooper Flies High At 10

It’s no secret that ratings are a fickle beast. One night, you’re toasting with friends about the 230,000 viewers in the 25 to 54 year-old demo who tuned in to see your interview with, say, Hulk Hogan‘s ex-wife; the next, you hang your head low at the 124,000 who wanted to see you talk with some foreign head of state. These numbers, in short, make little sense. And that’s what makes it fun — the random aberrations that occur every night.

Take, for instance, AC 360. At 8 p.m., the show lost a remarkably tight race for second place to Ed Schultz and Nancy Grace, with 166,000 demo viewers. But at 10 p.m., Anderson Cooper became a ratings monster*, pulling in 258,000 viewers, almost beating Joy Behar and Lawrence O’Donnell combined in the same time slot. He not only dominated CNN’s stable of anchors, but beat out every show on MSNBC and HLN, as well.

*-Non-Fox News Division

Some other nuggets from Thursday night:

  • While Cooper took the Thursday night CNN title, Wednesday night’s victor was Erin Burnett. On Thursday, she was exceptionally strong at 11 p.m., pulling in 140,000 demo viewers, while Ed Schultz attracted 94,000 and Showbiz Tonight had 66,000.
  • Fox News’ late night guilty pleasure, Red Eye, makes the occasional cameo here, and they’re popping up today because they’re on a bit of a run — over a seven-show stretch the last two weeks, the program averaged 208,000 demo viewers. For five straight days, the show averaged more demo viewers than John King USA, Dylan Ratigan, and OutFront, among many others.
  • In other Fox News… er, news, Sean Hannity made an admirable charge at Bill O’Reilly‘s ratings dominance on Thursday, getting 559,000 viewers to O’Reilly’s 628,000. Naturally, instead of this being the start of a trend, the gap will likely re-widen once Friday’s numbers are released. But we figured an official Nugget Hat Tip to Hannity was at least in order for coming surprisingly close to the King of Ratings.
  • Here are the complete cable news ratings for Thursday night:

  • TV NEWS RATINGS: 25-54 DEMOGRAPHIC (L +SD)
    Fox News CNN MSNBC CNN Headline News
    5 pm The5 

    325

    Blitzer 

    146

    Matthews 

    167

    Special 

    58

    6 pm Baier 

    383

    King, USA 

    94

    Sharpton 

    155

    Prime 

    80

    7 pm Shep 

    436

    Burnett 

    87

    Matthews 

    165

    Issues 

    150

    8 pm O’Reilly 

    628

    Cooper 

    166

    Schultz 

    179

    Grace 

    172

    9 pm Hannity 

    559

    Piers 

    198

    Maddow 

    199

    Dr. Drew 

    104

    10 pm Van Susteren 

    409

    Cooper 

    258

    O’Donnell 

    162

    Behar 

    124

    11 pm O’Reilly 

    402

    Burnett 

    140

    Schultz 

    94

    Showbiz 

    66

    TOTAL DAY 302 148 125 94
    PRIME TIME 532 208 108 128
    Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data.
    TV NEWS RATINGS: TOTAL VIEWERS (L +SD)
    Fox News CNN MSNBC CNN Headline News
    5 pm The5 

    1,571

    Blitzer 

    810

    Matthews 

    732

    Special 

    271

    6 pm Baier 

    2,076

    King, USA 

    516

    Sharpton 

    701

    Prime
    341
    7 pm Shep 

    1,835

    Burnett 

    473

    Matthews 

    743

    Issues 

    385

    8 pm O’Reilly 

    3,170

    Cooper 

    603

    Schultz 

    881

    Grace 

    515

    9 pm Hannity 

    2,194

    Piers 

    830

    Maddow 

    908

    DrDrew 

    336

    10 pm Greta 

    1,571

    Cooper 

    711

    O’Donnell
    843
    Behar 

    411

    11 pm O’Reilly 

    1,124

    Burnett 

    425

    Schultz
    485
    Showbiz 

    164

    TOTAL DAY 1,353 528 506 286
    PRIME TIME 2,320 716 877 413
    Data by Nielsen Media Research. Live and same day (DVR) data
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