The second season premiere of FX’s animated comedy Archer last night drew 1.5 million viewers, 986,000 of them in the adults 18-49 demographic. It was down 16% from the series premiere last year but significantly outperformed its first season average. Interesting footnote: Archer‘s lead-in, a rerun of Two and a Half Men, logged 1 million 18-49 viewers on the day Charlie Sheen made headlines with his hospitalizations following a wild party at his house. That was one of the show’s most watched telecasts on FX ever.
Airing against Archer, MTV’s Jersey Shore finally cooled off, but just a tiny bit. After a series of ratings records, the hit reality series averaged 8.83 million viewers last night, a fraction below the record 8.87 million who tuned in last week. The show kept steady in the 12-34 demo with a 8.8 rating and once again ranked as the second highest-rated program on any network behind Idol.
Meanwhile, CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight sunk to a new low last night, and that’s not only a reference to his choice of Kim and Kourtney Kardashian as guests. Morgan’s interview with the Kardashian sisters drew his smallest audience to date by a wide margin, 498,000. That is well below the 2.1 million he attracted in his debut last Monday and below the 674,000 his predecessor Larry King averaged in 2010. How small was Piers Morgan’s audience? It was smaller than the number of 25-54 viewers the time slot leader Sean Hannity attracted last night (1.9 million, 533,000 in 25-54). Morgan’s 25-54 audience was 164,000. He finished distant third in the 9 PM hour behind Hannity and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow (983,000; 227,000 in 25-54)
Reversing Morgan’s downward ratings trend will no doubt be on the agenda of NBC News’s Washington bureau chief Mark Whitaker who today was named EVP and managing editor at CNN and put on the same level as CNN’s EVP Ken Jautz.