‘Piers Morgan Tonight’ Tops ‘Hannity’ in the Demo in Night Two, But Still Sees Drop In Total Viewers

By Alex Weprin 

The preliminary ratings for night two of “Piers Morgan Tonight” are in, and it was a mixed bag for CNN.

Not surprisingly, the total viewership was down from its premiere night, drawing 1.273 million total viewers, compared to 2.1 million for the premiere. Premiere episodes and premiere weeks of new shows often see higher viewership totals than where they end up settling.

That said, the program drew 551,000 viewers in the key 25-54 demo, topping both “Hannity” on Fox News and The Rachel Maddow Show” on MSNBC, and improving on its premiere demo numbers by +6%.

Of course, the demo jump can probably be attributed to Morgan’s guest last night, radio shock jock Howard Stern, who has a much younger audience than Oprah Winfrey, who was Morgan’s first guest.

The numbers will likely be lower tonight, with former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice on tap as a guest. Coming from the world of politics, Rice does not have a loyal following like Stern or Winfrey, and has not been a major player in the news recently. Expect something of a rebound on Thursday, when Morgan will host Ricky Gervais, who is coming off of his white-hot performance as host of the Golden Globes on NBC.