Two big exclusive interviews propelled CNN to some of its strongest non-special event weekday numbers in a long time Monday night. Anderson Cooper interviewed juror B37 in the George Zimmerman trial during the 8pm and 10pm hours and Piers Morgan interviewed Trayvon Martin‘s friend, Rachel Jeantel who was a key witness during the trial, at 9pmET.
“Piers Morgan Live” was the top program in all of cable news in the adults 25-54 demo and “AC360″ at 10 was second. The Jeantel interview also helped give Morgan its biggest demo ratings since it launched in 2011. In total viewers, FNC’s “The O’Reilly Factor” remained number one, followed by “The Five” and “Special Report.’
The ratings are particularly notable because CNN didn’t start promoting the juror interview until just before it aired, as the channel wasn’t sure whether it would happen. It was similar to when Charlie Sheen showed up for his interview with Morgan five minutes before it was scheduled to air, resulting in what was at the time the best demo numbers ever for the CNN program.
The younger-skewing viewers are more likely to be active on social media, which is where CNN spent a good deal of effort promoting both the juror and Jeantel interviews. It was also the opposite of the “Sharknado” phenomenon, which saw a ton of chatter online, but was met with only “OK” ratings.
The full scoreboard will be up shortly, but here are the breakouts from 8-11 PM:
FNC: 478K A25-54 / 2.859M total viewers
CNN: 474K adults 25-54 / 961K total viewers
MSNBC: 202K A25-54 / 655K total viewers
HLN: 159K A25-54 / 444K total viewers
FNC: 424K A25-54 / 1.910M total viewers
CNN: 678K A25-54 / 1.378M total viewers
MSNBC: 263K A25-54 / 819K total viewers
HLN: 156K A25-54 / 427K total viewers
FNC: 344K A25-54 / 1.689M total viewers
CNN: 576K A25-54 / 1.258M total viewers
MSNBC: 235K A25-54 / 717K total viewers
HLN: 199K A25-54 / 406K total viewers