2005: Rita Cosby #1 on MSNBC

By Brian 

> Update: 2:44pm: “Are you out of your mind?,” an e-mailer says. “Rita’s ratings gains came the first month she was on. She’s been in a downward slide ever since. Could you please correct your prior post to reflect that fact?”

“Is it too early to predict that ‘Rita Cosby: Live & Direct’ will become MSNBC’s primetime savior?,” I asked on the evening of its premiere, August 8.

According to the year-end ratings, it wasn’t too early. Cosby may not be popular among TV critics and Fox News fans, but she was the host of MSNBC’s #1 program in 2005. Live & Direct has averaged a 0.5 since its premiere, delivering 483,000 viewers. She was also #1 for MSNBC in the 25-54 demo, averaging 195,000 young viewers.

Cosby’s reliance on tabloid crime stories and porn exposes (and her questionable partnership with World Wrestling Entertainment) has translated to ratings points. She was close to beating Nancy Grace for the year, so keep an eye on her in 2006…

> Nov. 14: Viewers flock to Bunny Ranch with Rita

> Jul. 29: “She was made for our primetime,” Rick Kaplan says