Morning Media Newsfeed: Rowe Sets Records for CNN | Morgan Slams Cooper, AC 360

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Mike Rowe Makes CNN History With Debut of Somebody’s Gotta Do It (TVNewser)
According to Nielsen Fast National Data, Mike Rowe‘s Somebody’s Gotta Do It is CNN Original Series’ best premiere ever in the adults 25-54 demo, averaging 507,000 viewers Wednesday night, coming in second to The Kelly File, which drew 544,000. THR / The Live Feed Somebody’s Gotta Do It marked a 255 percent advantage over MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show — which hit an all-time low during the third quarter. The series also averaged 943,000 total viewers, besting MSNBC by 25 percent. NYT Somebody’s Gotta Do It easily topped CNN‘s previous best result in its recent introduction of original series. The Hunt With John Walsh pulled in 330,000 viewers in the 25-54 group with its premiere in July. Deadline Hollywood Rowe’s opening represented a 152 percent hike in the news demo compared with the time slot’s average the prior four Wednesdays (201,000), and a 77 percent jump in overall crowd (534,000). CNNMoney Shows like Rowe’s — what CNN calls “original series,” distinguishing from newscasts or talk shows — cost more to produce than newscasts do, but tend to be more popular and can be replayed many times. They are a centerpiece of CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker’s strategy to improve the ratings performance of the company’s American cable channel. One of CNN’s first originals, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, opened to 282,000 in the same age demographic back in April 2013.

CNN Accuses Piers Morgan of ‘Sad’ Effort to Attack Anderson Cooper (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
Former CNN host Piers Morgan has spent the past week publicly criticizing his former colleague Anderson Cooper, even blaming the silver-haired anchor’s poor ratings for his own show’s failure. “Could I have done with a better lead-in? Yes,” Morgan told Dylan Byers last week. “Anderson is a great field reporter, but does he drive big ratings at CNN, outside of a big news cycle? I don’t see any evidence of it.” In an interview with Access Hollywood earlier this week, Morgan described Cooper as “not really what CNN needs.” Then, on Wednesday, he penned a column for The Hollywood Reporter suggesting that CNN should have hired Megyn Kelly instead. TVNewser And now CNN is responding. A CNN spokesperson shot back Thursday, saying Cooper had consistently better ratings than Morgan’s. “For the two-and-a-half years that AC 360 served as the lead in to Piers Morgan’s program on CNN, it always delivered a higher rating than Piers’ program,” spokesperson Megan Rivers said. “And for the 7 months that Piers Morgan’s program led into AC 360, 360 always delivered a higher rating than Piers’ program.” THR / The Live Feed Morgan responded to CNN’s claims in a statement. “I have no wish to get into a Reservoir Dogs sequel with CNN,” Morgan wrote. “However, let me just respond by saying I’m not remotely sad, I have a great new job at MailOnline, and when I came off air in March, Jeff Zucker congratulated me on a ‘splendid, terrific run’ and formally offered me a seven-figure sum to make 40 interview shows over the next two years. I didn’t realize he was joking! As for Anderson, I thought he was terrific on The Mole.”

Time Warner Cable Shareholders Approve Comcast Deal (THR)
Time Warner Cable shareholders on Thursday approved the planned $45 billion takeover of the company by Comcast and so-called “golden parachute” payments to top executives. HuffPost / AP In February, Comcast said it agreed to buy rival Time Warner in an all-stock deal. The deal will make Comcast, which also owns NBCUniversal, a dominant force in both creating and delivering entertainment to U.S. homes. The news comes a day after Comcast shareholders approved the deal, which is still awaiting clearance from regulators. Deadline Hollywood The FCC recently paused its unofficial 180-day “shot-clock” to rule on the deal, which began in July. Although that happens routinely in big deals, it gives critics additional time to weigh in. Variety Replies to Comcast’s filing had initially been due by Oct. 8, but because Comcast’s reply came in at nearly 850 pages, the FCC extended that deadline to Oct. 29. The strenuous opposition to the merger has heightened speculation that the feds may wind up imposing significant conditions or entirely block the deal between the nation’s No. 1 and No. 2 cable operators.